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Alfred G. Arvold pulls a handkerchief from the breast pocket of his suit. He wipes away the dust stuck to his perspiring face, then absently stuffs the grimy cloth back into place. His eyes follow a covered wagon rounding a corner in the amphi- theatre as the audience cheers. It was Arvold’s idea – one of many masterminds of this arts pioneer

  • to develop this spot in north Fargo, to turn

these fifty acres along the Red River into El Zagal Park, with El Zagal Bowl at its heart. Scanning the crowd, he smiles. On this warm, 1930s day, it looks like the whole town has turned out.

Little Country Theatre, December 1925

Standing some distance off, 7-year-old Bev Halbeisen is mesmerized by the swirl of stage- coaches, covered wagons and horseback riders. With its cast of hundreds, all clothed in colorful costumes, it’s the most awe-inspiring thing she’s ever seen. When her parents point out the large, balding man they say is in charge, she strains for a glimpse, never dreaming that one day she’ll be one of his prize students at North Dakota State University.

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