Fargo, ND — Shots were heard ringing across Fargo after Alfonso Ribeiro, known for his iconic role as Carlton on the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, had some not so fresh words for Fargo.
Riberio’s described Fargo as, “Places you don’t go” during an off-air moment while awaiting an interview with WDAY TV.
The comment sparked immediate outrage among state tourism officials, prompting an emergency press conference Friday afternoon at the State Capitol in Bismarck.
“Alfonso says Fargo is somewhere people don’t go, but we at the State Tourism Department beg to differ,” said North Dakota’s Public Perception Director. “Grand Forks is a place you don’t go, but Fargo is a different story. Those who do visit North Dakota’s mecca on the prairie are often caught by surprise that we have many modern luxuries such as internet, electricity, shopping, and even a Chick-fil-A. In 2019 alone, Fargo is flirting with triple-digit tourism numbers. In fact, when you compare our numbers to other locations, Fargo is a very popular tourist destination. In 2019 alone, the Fargo-Moorhead metro area has had more tourists than North Korea, the moon, Minot, Guantanamo Bay, Area-51, and if things keep going south for our friends in the Caribbean, we may just beat out a few all-inclusive vacation clubs at the Dominican Republic. We invite Alfonso to visit North Dakota to prove us wrong.”
Riberior’s remarks drew immediate backlash in the Fargo community. Moments after the incident, a petition began to circulate on social media asking the celebrity to visit Fargo.
Governor Burgum also convened an emergency meeting to discuss with officials how the state should address the latest controversy and asked the North Dakota National Guard to remain on “heightened alert”.
Following Burgum’s meeting, his office released the following statement:
“In West Fargo my company was born and raised,
At Microsoft is where I spent most of my days.
Freezin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cold,
Started a company that later got sold.
When a couple of guys thought I should run,
Told me to be the governor, said it’d be fun.
I won one little race and I want Alfonso to know,
Fargo is a place he should definitely go.”
Riberio’s remarks is the latest blow North Dakota tourism has dealt with this summer. Most recently, Wallet Hub ranked North Dakota as one of the least-fun states in the country. However, tourism officials say they’re working on ways to fix the Flickertail State’s perception.
“Al Jaeger is still on display in his exhibit at the North Dakota Heritage Center for all generations to enjoy. We’re also working with developers to create a new game called “Petroleum-Go” where you visit the sites of various oil wells, oil spills, and flaring across the state to collect in-game rewards. Players can choose from a few different avatars for their character like former Governor Jack Dalrymple and Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms. And the Teddy Roosevelt National Roadside Restroom in Medora is sure to be a hit. It’ll feature all the latest tourism books, roadmaps and be manned by Governor Burgum 24/7, so be sure to have the kids stop in to take a selfie with the Governor.
No word on if Alfonso will take North Dakota up on its offer to visit. More on this story as it develops.
The Flickertail Times is a satirical humor blog featuring all things North Dakota. Feedback? We’d love to hear it. Send it all to: firstname.lastname@example.org