On July 3, the Paragon Bowling Alley in downtown Dickinson held an outdoor concert with the band “32 Below’. Overall the concert was a successful and enjoyable event. The band “32 Below” is well liked in North Dakota, the event area was plenty big enough, all the people in attendance had a good time, and there were very few problems.
John Mueller, whose family has owned the Paragon Bowling Alley since approximately the 1960s, had planned to have this concert on July 3, since this winter. One of the biggest events in Dickinson is the Demolition Derby, which this year was held at the new Fair Grounds on July 3. No one else in Dickinson was planning an event for people to go to after the Demolition Derby, which is why John Mueller wanted to have this concert.
At about 5:30 p.m., while it was still day light, the local band “The Mollies” with the Landis sisters, began playing on a different stage, than the one where “32 Below” would play. This was a good idea, because there was not very much lag time between one band taking down their equipment and the next band setting up their equipment.
I stopped by early, and I found out that the Paragon was not going to charge an admission fee, which I didn’t know, and I bet that a lot of people didn’t know. I estimate that a band like “32 Below” costs about $10,000-$15,000 for an event, which is a lot of money to pay, and not charge admission.
The Paragon parking lot was fenced in with temporary fencing, mostly for people’s safety, because there was no admission fee, and there was no age requirement. There were some elderly attendees, toddler attendees, children attendees, and dogs and cats. Yes, dogs and cats from the neighborhood came to the event.
The beer garden bar tender girls were pleasant and attractive. The Paragon security people were laid back, not pushy, and not aggressive. The Dickinson Police Officers that were on duty at the event didn’t bother anyone at all or give anyone a hard time. There were enough rented bathrooms for there not to be problems.
Between 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., the crowd outside the Paragon only got up to about 250 people. At about 8:00 p.m. the Camajur Bus service had been bringing people from the Demolition Derby and the crowd began to increase rapidly. Between 9:00 p.m. to 12 midnight, “32 Below” played almost non-stop, and the crowd outside the Paragon stayed at what I would estimate was between 500 to 600 people, as follows:
- 200 people directly in front of the stage.
- 100 people in the VIP corral and beer garden.
- 100 people outside of the VIP corral and beer garden.
- 200 people at the back of the event area around the mechanical bull.
I saw that the Paragon diner was full for most of the night. I was told that the bar was full too, but I didn’t go into the bar inside. Even though most of the attendees had been drinking alcohol all day, I did not see one fight, or one person pass out. Most of the attendees at the event were North Dakotans from this area, with a few DSU students and workers from out of state.