North Dakota's oil boom has drawn thousands and thousands of workers to the northwest portion of the state, most of them men.
Believe it or not, NoDak's unemployment rate of 3.3 percent is by far the lowest in the country. But the influx of workers has created a problem my straight, single brethren can relate to -- the northwest corner of the state is now basically a huge sausage fest.
Williston-based trucker and native Minnesotan Troy McKinley is trying to do something about NoDak's preponderance of dudes. Inspired by the movie "Herman U.S.A.", he's planning a Memorial Day weekend party with the goal of bringing in women from throughout the Midwest, including the Twin Cities, to meet and mingle with NoDak's oil workers.
[jump] McKinley is planning to advertise the party in the Twin Cities, Chicago, and other area cities. He told the Fargo Inforum that his party "is not going to be a sausage fest. I'm trying to avoid that, to put it crudely."
His message to straight Midwestern women looking for love? "I'm telling them to come out here and meet the guys out here who are making money working in the oil field."
The website for the so-called Party in the Patch event says that weekend-long tickets cost $150 for men but just $20 for women. In addition to testosterone-fueled events like arm wrestling and ultimate fighting, Party in the Patch will also feature speed dating and dancing.
Festivities will take place on a 110-acre campground about 25 miles south of Williston, which is the largest city in the region with 14,000 residents.
McKinley, who expects 4,000 to 5,000 attendees, said he wants "this to be the biggest party this area's event seen." Party in the Patch's website says that organizers "are shooting for at least 1-2 women for every 5 guys present."
Tom Rolfstad, economic development director for Williston, recently told the New York Times that as a result of the oil boom, his city "has a bit more testosterone right now than the town was used to." Testosterone, money, and single men. Is that combination enticing enough to draw single women from hundreds of miles away to McKinley's party? The oil workers of northwestern NoDak certainly hope so, but if not, arm wrestling and ultimate fighting are always solid plan Bs.