Minot is a city located in north central North Dakota in the United States. With a population of 40,888 at the 2010 census, Minot is the fourth largest city in the state. The city is the county seat of Ward County and is a trading center for a large portion of northern North Dakota, southwestern Manitoba, and southeastern Saskatchewan. Founded in 1886 during the construction of the Great Northern Railroad, Minot is also known as the "Magic City". As almost half of the residents are of Scandinavian ancestry, arts and culture of the Scandinavians countries have become important part of this city.
Minot came into existence in 1886, when James J. Hill's Great Northern Railway ended its push through the state for the winter, after having difficulty constructing a trestle across Gassman Coulee. It was the end of the railway's line, so whenever a train came into the town and the stop was announced, the conductor would call out "Minot, this is Minot, North Dakota, prepare to meet your doom".
Minot's arts community includes an art museum, a symphony orchestra, an opera company, a city band, several dance and theater troupes, a youth/punk concert organization, and the AMP; over 40 organizations claim membership in the Minot Area Council on the Arts.
Nearly 40% of the city's residents are of Scandinavian ancestry, and every October since 1977, Minot has been the host to the Norsk Hostfest, North America's largest Scandinavian-American festival. The event is held on the North Dakota State Fair grounds. Tens of thousands of people attend the Norsk Hostfest to celebrate and partake in the Scandinavian culture and entertainment. Norsk Hostfest features a number of Nordic exhibits with internationally recognized artisans, craftsmen and chefs participating. The cuisine as well as the clothes, art and jewelry are authentic, fine quality and exquisitely Nordic.
Scandinavian Heritage Park is located in Minot. Scandinavian Heritage Park features remembrances and replicas from each of the Scandinavian countries: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland. he park was established during 1988 to celebrate and preserve Scandinavian heritage. The park has several nordic features. Dala Horse is a 30 feet tall replica of brightly colored horses from the province of Dalarna, Sweden. A replica of a Norsk Stavkirke, the original Gol Stave Church, that was built in Gol, Hallingdal, Norway. A bronze statue of the Icelandic explorer, Leif Eirikssen, the first man of European stock to step ashore in America in about the year 1000. The park also includes a Danish Windmill, Finnish Sauna, Norsk Stabbur, and so much more.
The Minot Park District operates seventeen parks with various facilities; Corbett Field, home to American Legion, high school and college baseball; Optimist soccer complex; MAYSA ice arena; the Sertoma Complex which has 8 softball fields; Souris Valley Golf Course, and an indoor tennis complex. The North Dakota State Fair is held annually in Minot. Nearly all recreation areas however are closed during the long winters.