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It's official: Fargo a 'Top 10 Winter City'

FARGO -- It's no joke: Fargo has been named one of the "Top 10 Winter Cities" by the website

North Dakota's largest city was ranked second only to Anchorage, Alaska, on the list released Wednesday.

The website's editors looked at cities that adapt well to wintry weather, embrace the cold and even view it as a valuable commodity, according to a news release.

Fargo was chosen because it also ranks high for other livability factors, such as ample outdoor recreational opportunities, arts and cultural offerings, affordable housing and unemployment rates lower than the national average, the release stated.

"Even in temperatures that drop well below zero, the friendly residents of Fargo exude a warmth that is both welcoming and sincere," the release stated. "Fargo's park district sponsors several family-friendly events during winter including Winterfest, a weekend full of indoor sports tournaments, and a range of other activities, from a cross-country ski race and celebrity hockey game to a day of free skiing, sledding and Clydesdale horse-drawn sleigh rides."

The website's editors narrowed a list of 500 cities to those with an average January temperature of 32 degrees or lower.

Rounding out the Top 10 were Bozeman, Mont.; Logan, Utah; St. Cloud, Minn.; Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; Bangor, Maine; Spokane, Wash.; Lebanon, Pa.; and Gillette, Wyo.

Fargo's status as a winter city shouldn't be in doubt. Rankings released within the last week by The Daily Beast, a news website, listed Fargo as the fourth-coldest city in the U.S.

According to the National Weather Service climate reports, Fargo averages mostly single-digit temperatures in January. Although the other winter months boast double-digits, they are mostly in the teens.

Nowatzki is a reporter for The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.