Fargo, with an estimated population of 90,934, is the seat of Cass County, North Dakota. Fargo is located in the Red River Valley region and is adjacent to Moorehead, Minnesota. The city is considered the economic crossroads of a large section of eastern North Dakota and a portion of northwestern Minnesota. Founded officially in 1871, it was used as an early stopping point for steamboats traveling the Red River, becoming a significant economic and social area in its early years.
Fargo has seen relatively strong growth both in population and economic activity. The economy of the city and its surrounding areas have historically been dependent on agriculture. However, in recent years that has shifted to a more industrial and high technology based economy. Several businesses now have major operations in the community including Microsoft, Alien Technology, Navteq, and PRACS Institute. The city's major retail districts on the southwest side as well as the downtown area have seen rapid expansion due to investments made by the city and private developers. Other notable local companies include Phoenix International, Nodak Mutual Insurance Company, and Hornbacher's, a local grocery chain.
For its size, Fargo offers a relatively wide variety of cultural opportunities due, in part, to the presence of three universities in the metropolitan area that include the University of North Dakota, North Dakota State University, and the University of Mary. University support provides for several performances by groups like the Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre, Theatre 'B' in downtown Fargo, Ursa Major Theatre Company, and The Entertainment Company. Music organizations in the metropolitan area include the Fargo-Moorhead Opera, the Jazz Arts Group, the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra, and the Fargo-Moorhead Youth Symphony. The Fargo Theatre, a restored 1926 Art Deco movie house, features first-run movies, film festivals, and other community events. The Fargodome routinely host concerts, Broadway musicals, dance performances, sporting events, fairs, and other gatherings.
History and culture in the area are preserved at The Plains Art Museum, The Children's Museum at Yunker Farm, The Fargo Air Museum, The Courthouse Museum, The Roger Maris Museum in West Acres Shopping Center, and the North Dakota State University Wall of Fame in the Scheels All Sports store.
The Fargo Park District operates many neighborhood parks throughout the city providing residents and visitors alike with many recreational opportunities like running, walking, skiing, golf, playgrounds, and community sports. Other area arenas and auditoriums provide places for concerts, art appreciation, and local sporting events. These include the Reineke Fine Arts Center, Fargo Civic Center, and the John E. Carlson Coliseum. History and art are preserved and presented at area locations like the Plains Art Museum, Fargo Air Museum, The Children's Museum at Yunker Farm, and the Bonanzaville, USA.