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Medora’s Old-Fashioned Cowboy Christmas carries on despite cold

Press Photo by Katherine Grandstrand Caden, the 1-year-old son of Brad and Lorina Rajala, of Dickinson, looks over at Santa at the Rough Rider Hotel during Medora’s Old-Fashioned Cowboy Christmas on Saturday.

MEDORA — Only the horses were allowed to take the day off due to a chill in the air at Medora’s Old-Fashioned Cowboy Christmas on Saturday.

The 18th annual event was going off without a hitch Saturday afternoon despite sub-zero temperatures persisting even with sunshine.

“It’s always a big concern because the weather impacts us so much as to how people can be outside,” said Leona Odermann, Medora Area Convention and Visitors Bureau. “We had to decide not to have the wagon rides because frostbite is so easy.”

Oderman had received a few calls from Minnesotans wondering if the festival would still be going on with highs below zero. Those people said they would be coming as long as the roads were clear, but some people decided the cold weather was too much for them.

“But all the hotels and motels were full,” Oderman said.

There were several weather-related cancellations at the AmericInn, owner Jim Bridger said.

“We had 20-some cancellations but we filled them all back up,” Bridger said. “We had turned away so many people for this event that as soon as we got these cancellations the locals, like people from Dickinson that wanted to get out here but couldn’t because they didn’t plan in advance, they were able to get in.”

Visitors darted in and out of buildings quickly during Eats on the Streets, sampling appetizer-sized portions of sausage, cookies, corn on the cob and hot apple cider.

“The turn out for Eats on the Streets was really good,” said Pam Reinarts, owner of Cedar Canyon Spa, which featured a chocolate fondue fountain. “Last year I think it was a lot warmer.”

Medora’s 18th annual Old-Fashioned Cowboy Christmas continues today with breakfast, cookie decorating with Santa, outhouse races and an ethnic buffet at the Chateau de Mores.

The National Weather Service out of Bismarck forecasts highs near zero and a 20 percent chance of snow for today.

Katherine Grandstrand
I graduated from Bemidji State University in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in mass communcations, from Columbia College Chicago in 2009 with a master's degree in journalism.  
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