To market, or not to market. That is the question.

Actually, it’s not. We definitely want to market. And soon you’ll be seeing ads touting Wahpeton as a tourist destination in the hopes of showcasing our city to people looking to spend a day, maybe a weekend, in town taking in all that we have to offer.

Arts and entertainment? Check. Restaurants and shopping? Check. A great time for family and friends? Check.

I’m excited to see what the campaign looks like when the magic has been worked.

One thing I want to touch on is this: we’ve made a lot of strides toward having a more positive image of our community. I truly believe that. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have more work to do.

When I started on the city council over 10 years ago, I felt there was an air of apathy over the city. I knew we had great things to offer citizens and residents, but sensed a dark cloud above that wouldn’t leave us. As the past decade has gone along, it seems to me that the cloud has dissipated some. And I’m very happy about that.

Still, there’s some negative talk that happens here from time to time. Now I know what you’re thinking: “Every town has its critics as well as its supporters.” And you’re correct. But I believe that the most successful communities learn to keep the negativity to a minimum and focus on what’s good about where they live, work, and play.

We have much to be happy about in Wahpeton, as will be evident through our marketing. But that campaign won’t have as good an impact as it could if we spread undue criticism and pessimism around, especially when we have visitors.

We want them to enjoy themselves and have a good experience, and maybe even consider Wahpeton a place to move to in the future.

Constructive criticism can be helpful. Spiteful criticism can be damaging.

Switching gears, don’t forget about Blue Goose weekend and the main event – the three-band concert at NDSCS on Saturday night. A slight change in location had to be made, so the concert will now take place on the grassy area just to the south of Frank Vertin Field. You’ll still enter through the main gate, and there will be some bleachers there to sit on.

However, if you have a portable lawn chair you may want to bring that along to ensure you have a comfy seat for what promises to be a great night of music. The food vendors and beer garden will be there, too, and admission is still only $2 for adults and free for kids 10 and under.

What a way to kick off the (late-arriving) summer.

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