Medora: Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation gears up for summer with new attractionsMEDORA — The streets of Medora are springing to life with families visiting the shops, playing in the parks or relaxing with an ice cream cone while waiting for the pitchfork steak fondue and Medora Musical to get under way.
By: Linda Sailer, The Dickinson Press
MEDORA — The streets of Medora are springing to life with families visiting the shops, playing in the parks or relaxing with an ice cream cone while waiting for the pitchfork steak fondue and Medora Musical to get under way.
This year, the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation has additional family attractions.
Family Fun Center
A Family Fun Center opened Friday, featuring the world’s largest inflatable water slide, said Foundation president Randy Hatzenbuhler.
The slide is similar to the Hippo that is featured at Disney World. It is one of three attractions at the center, including a climbing wall and trampoline Bungie jump.
The slide is misted to make it slippery.
“You’ll get wet, but not soaked,” Hatzenbuhler said.
Foundation employee Kyle Barebarg tried the ride.
“Fun is an understatement,” he said. “You get a little momentum, some height, take a jump and you fly down faster than you can blink.”
The center is at the entrance of the Medora campground on the west side of town. Admission is $8 for unlimited use for up to two days. The hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The 2012 season of the Medora Musical opened Friday in the Burning Hills Amphitheater.
“I would say, without giving away secrets, it is one of the highest energy shows I’ve been a part of anywhere this season,” said Kinley Slauter, Burning Hills Amphitheater manager.
The season opens with the specialty act of Breaksk8, a hip hop roller skating dance crew. Performances run through June 30. They have been featured on several TV shows including NBC’s “America’s Got Talent”and MTV’s “America’s Best Dance Crew.”
The Burning Hills Singers entertain with more than 30 songs and a lot of dancing, Slauter said.
Hatzenbuhler observed the freshness of the cast this year.
“Of the cast members, nine of them are new and the talent is outstanding,” he said.
Emily Walter returns the Queen of the West and show host.
“She has a genuine love of North Dakota, especially Medora,” Slauter said. “She was a Burning Hills Singer for several years in the 1990s. She has entertained around the world.”
Word of mouth has been a great marketing tool, he said.
“We want folks to see the show for themselves, and the first couple of weeks are a good time to do it, especially with Breaksk8 as the specialty act,” he said.
The show is dedicated to the lacy of Theodore Roosevelt and the time he spent in North Dakota’s Badlands. Performances begin at 8:30 p.m.
Back by popular demand, the Foundation opened an electronic shooting gallery that will be operated by volunteers in downtown Medora, Hatzenbuhler said.
Sisters Taylor and Sydney Helgeson of Bismarck said the game was fun to play.
They visit Medora several times a year with their family.
“I like going to the Musical and hiking in the Badlands,” Sydney said. “My goal is being in the musical as one of the Burning Hills Singers.”
The Foundation is holding its 16th annual Bully Expedition, designed to teach graders-graders about North Dakota history.
The events are today, including a scavenger hunt, journal, bandana and Bully fun pass. Children will be recognized on the stage prior to the Medora Musical. To register, call 800-Medora-1.
Salute to Medora
“Teddy Roosevelt Salute to Medora” is presented by Joe Wiegand as Theodore Roosevelt, but with a different focus.
After researching Roosevelt’s life, Wiegand will speak about the former president’s experiences while living and ranching in the Badlands.
A lifelong student of American history, Wiegand is a political science graduate of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn. In 2008, Wiegand and his wife, Jenny, traveled across America in celebration of Roosevelt’s 150th birthday.
Performances are 4 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Town Hall.
The pitchfork steak fondue has added additional menu items for Thursday evenings. Instead of the steak buffet line, guests may choose a Cowboy Cookout meal featuring roast buffalo, chicken and ribs.
Serving begins at 6:15 p.m. at the Tjaden Terrace overlooking the North Dakota Badlands.