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May 22, 2020
Best Friends Mentoring retools Family Fun Day to include road races, Americana painting
Tweaking traditions spanning more than two decades, the Best Friends Mentoring Program (BFMP) is keeping youth and families a priority as it recreates Family Fun Day this summer.
BFMP’s events, which span 23 consecutive years during the Dickinson Roughrider Days, will showcase a new mix of Americana traditional and outdoor family fitness for every age and ability. Jessica Dukart-Bell, a local artist, will lead a patriotic-themed canvas painting class June 20 and BFMP will host outdoor runs and walks on July 4 at the West River Community Center’s Leisure Park.
Each one of the activities replaces the Family Fun Day giant inflatables and vendor show, and will allow participants to follow social guidelines in the wake of COVID-19, said BFMP Executive Director Kris Fehr.
“Promoting a healthy and safe environment with each one of these events is our No. 1 priority,” sad Fehr. “We recognize individuals and families are seeking appropriate recreational activities and are confident these painting, running and walking events will provide good options for our community.”

The painting class, scheduled for 11 a.m. on June 20, will offer a relaxed, group art class atmosphere to painters of any ability. The registration fee will include the canvas and other supplies.

The road races will feature an electronically timed ¼-mile youth competition, one-mile walk and 5K and 10K runs near Leisure Park on the north side of the WRCC. Events will kick off at 8:30 a.m. and continue with staggered starts. Overall and age category winners will receive e-gift cards to local businesses in lieu of medals and trophies. 

“Runners and walkers will use the beautiful trails around the community center and in the Dickinson Research Extension Center while maintaining the recommended six-foot distancing,” said organizer Mark Billings, a BFMP coordinator. “We envision family-friendly activities closely monitored by volunteers at a time when people want to get out and do things together safely.” 

The road races, painting class and city fireworks display are among the events scheduled during the Roughrider Days and are subject to change. Family Fun Day with its entire scope of events is under close consideration as leaders mull alternative dates for the giant inflatables and vendor show. “We are mindful of the uncertainties families in our community face in the months ahead and hope to bring Family Fun Day back as soon as conditions are right,” said Fehr.

To register for the painting class and road races, visit www.bestfriendsnd.org. All participants must pre-register before June 30. BFMP provides mentoring services to youth in southwest North Dakota. For information, call (701) 483-8615. 
Kris Fehr, Executive Director
(701) 483-8615