Oil boom town Williston, ND, makes news again, this time for a party ~ specifically a singles dance set for Memorial Day weekend.

The following article (save for the links I’ve added for your convenience) is as published in the Fargo Forum, a publication which has a nasty habit of blocking their news a day or two after being published, and so I quote the whole article in order to discuss it. Party seeks to bring women to Oil Patch:

A Williston-area truck driver has the solution for oil workers with nothing to do and a shortage of women.

He’s throwing the “Party in the Patch” over Memorial Day weekend, advertising in Chicago, the Twin Cities and elsewhere to attract women to his weekendlong singles dance.

Organizer Troy McKinley said his goal is to attract one to two women for every five guys at the event.

“This is not going to be a sausage fest,” McKinley said. “I’m trying to avoid that, to put it crudely.”

McKinley got the idea from the 2001 movie “Herman U.S.A.” about a Minnesota town with 78 bachelors who advertise for wives and are inundated with women.

McKinley, a Minnesota native who has lived in the Williston area for three years, is using that same concept to draw single ladies to the party.

“I’m telling them to come out here and meet the guys out here who are making money working in the oil field,” McKinley said.

He said he already has women lined up from Chicago, and he’s going to continue advertising.

The event, May 25-26, will be 25 miles south of Williston just north of Alexander on a 110-acre campground that is being developed, McKinley said.

The event’s website, partyinthepatch.com, is selling tickets for the event and camp sites. McKinley also is reserving as many Williston hotel rooms as he can.

Tickets cost $150 for the whole weekend for men or $20 for women.

One event planned is a bachelorette auction, with proceeds going to the local sheriff’s office and the fire department, McKinley said.

Other confirmed events include speed dating, arm wrestling matches, ultimate fighting and a dance contest.

McKinley said he tried to hold the event at some locations in Williston but was met with resistance.

“They flat out accused me of bringing prostitutes and strippers into town for this thing,” McKinley said. “They got downright hostile. I was floored.”

The event will not have strippers, McKinley said. He also will provide security and a shuttle service to Williston to prevent drunken driving.

“I want this to be as safe as possible,” McKinley said.

Williston Mayor Ward Koeser and representatives from the Williston Chamber of Commerce said Friday they hadn’t heard anything about the event.

McKenzie County Auditor Linda Svihovec said the organizers have not come before the county commission and an application for a liquor permit has not been submitted.

McKinley said organizers plan to serve liquor Friday and Saturday and work with the local Eagles Club to obtain a liquor permit. The event is for ages 21 and up.

As he works on the details of the event, McKinley said people are telling him to expect as many as 4,000 to 5,000 attendees.

“I want this to be the biggest party this area’s ever seen,” McKinley said.

I hope this North Dakota event, inspired by a movie which was inspired by a real life story, ends better than those people who continue to make the pilgrimage to this area because they know where the buried treasure from the film Fargo is ~ and die.
But already somebody’s got their numbers wrong in this story… The film says 85 single men; this news story says 78 ~ which might be referring to the actual story of bachelors in Herman, MN, but clarity matters.

So do numbers.

Which leads me to the real issues here.

#1 Why would this party automatically be assumed to be a “sausage fest” without such promotional activities to secure women for the menfolk?

Despite the mythinformation out there…

“I’ve heard the ratio of men to women here is 87-to-1, so this is awesome.”

…While the exact ratio isn’t known, there’s no question that with the influx of mostly male oil workers, Williston is testosterone heavy.

The ratios are known. Not only do the women outnumber the men in Williston, but there are more single women than single men.

Sheesh. And they say women can’t do math.

Maybe the local women don’t like parties ~ or at least not parties with these local men ~ but…

#2 Why is it automatically assumed that the only women who would come for the party would be prostitutes and strippers?

I mean, they apparently didn’t show up for the $2,000 a night gigs, so why would anyone think they’d travel all that way and pay $20 to have locals buy them drinks ~ drinks there currently aren’t any permits for?

Any decent sex worker worth her rate is as savvy as any other woman worth her salt; they’ll do their research and likely decide this party isn’t worth the trip.  Which means they may just have plenty in common with the local women.

Maybe we should just bus the Williston women elsewhere in the Midwest for a real party. *wink*