Lifestyle & Going Out

Lifestyle & Going Out Trendsetter: Emily Olsen

Emily Olsen is a local creative, Downtown Fargo superfan, and Director of Lifestyle at Jasper Hotel.

Photo by Studio Freshly

Emily Olsen is a local creative, Downtown Fargo superfan, and Director of Lifestyle at Jasper Hotel. Most often, you’ll see Emily supporting local happenings around the city or hosting her own at the newest boutique hotel downtown. Emily has always been passionate about all things artsy—designing content, creative writing, and planning events for the community are the highlights of her personal and professional life.

Emily grew up with an artist for a mother and a hobby musician for a father, which meant her childhood was spent traveling to countless music festivals and juried art shows, and in her downtime, she created alongside them both. This unique upbringing always came with connections to artists and makers that inspired Emily to follow in their footsteps throughout her life. She attended North Dakota State University and received a BA in Strategic Communication and a minor in Visual Arts which helped to support her future career in the arts. Emily most enjoys working with like-minded change makers to contribute to the further development of downtown Fargo, her favorite place.

FM EVENTS On Emily’s Calendar

#1 Rocky Horror Picture Show at The Fargo Theatre

“My all-time favorite happening in Fargo-Moorhead is The Fargo Theatre’s presentation of Rocky Horror Picture Show. This is an event I look forward to each year as the highlight of my Halloween! This evening is more than just a screening of the cult-classic film—all attendees show up and show out in their best camp fashion for the theater’s cosplay competition which always comes with a coveted prize. During the show, sit and watch as the most random props are thrown about the room and the crowd shouts throughout the movie. Plus, you can enjoy your favorite movie theater snacks while you’re at it. This truly is a must-attend experience!”

#2 The Night Bazaar

“Folkways’ Night Bazaar is an iconic event in downtown Fargo and boasts the best summer vibes, three times a year. Personally, I go to enjoy the great food, live music, surprise entertainment, and local vendor shopping, all in Broadway Square! Walking through this scene with a refreshing drink in hand and sunny skies is what summer is all about. Plus, you know it’s cool when the street is closed for a skating half-pipe and flame twirlers.”

Night Bazaar is a monthly event run by Folkways. The magical evenings are filled with food, music, art, and performances. Underneath the twinkling lights on Broadway Square, you can shop from local artists, makers, and vintage shops while you snack on food from your favorite (or, to-be new favorite!) food vendors

This year’s dates for Night Bazaar are June 22, July 20, and September 14!

#3 CreativeMornings: Fargo

“Fargo is among over 226 cities across 67 countries that host CreativeMornings—a monthly breakfast lecture series that brings people together over something we all have in common: creativity. CreativeMornings is an organization I volunteer for, and I have come to love it for what it stands for and what it offers the community each and every month. Come to Jasper (the host for all 2023 events) ready for a cup of delicious coffee provided by Stumbeano’s and a pastry from Rosewild to start your morning off right—I will see you there!”

#4 FM Symphony Masterworks Concerts

“Let’s be honest, classical music is underrated. Fargo’s Symphony Orchestra is a gem in town that everyone should be proud of. Having a performing orchestra of their caliber is a testament to the rich arts culture Fargo has fostered. Going to the symphony is entertaining, educational, and inspiring—keep things interesting and take your next date to the symphony, you won’t regret it. Fun fact, in their upcoming season, they will be playing selections from Legend of Zelda!”

#5 Rosewild’s Ice Cream Social with Silver Lining

“Now this is one I personally plan, and it brings me so much joy each year. For me, summer kicks off in downtown Fargo at Rosewild’s Ice Cream Social with Silver Lining Creamery. Our community takes to social media to submit their dream ice cream flavor ideas for the summer season and the winning scoop is designed by Rosewild’s Executive Chef and Silver Lining Creamery. Then it makes its grand debut in Broadway Square! Plus, the opening night of Music @ The Square is the perfect place to soak up some sun, listen to live music, and enjoy a sweet treat.”

This year’s winning flavor, Grilled Peach with Hot Honey, is the epitome of summer living!

Emily’s Favorite Bars and Restaurants

1. Rosewild

Rosewild is hands down my favorite restaurant in Fargo! I love taking my family and friends here to enjoy a delicious, hearth cooked meal. Whether it’s a weeknight bite before a show or a Friday night dinner to celebrate a special occasion, Rosewild is the spot. For a more casual meal in the Lounge, the Rosewild Burger is phenomenal, but if you’re looking for dinner, the Baby Kale Salad is my ultimate recommendation.”

Emoly’s Rec: Rosewild Burger & Baby Kale Salad

2. Bernbaum’s

“BernBaum’s is my midday meal destination. I am in the camp that agrees that breakfast foods should be an all-day affair, and their Egg of the Day confirms that theory. This adorable, mid-century modern-clad, Nordic-Jewish deli is the coziest space to hit up next time you’re spending the morning or afternoon downtown. Plus, they are open seven days a week!”

Emily’s Rec: Egg of the Day

3. Harold’s Bar on Main

“If you’re looking for that perfect night out, I highly recommend checking out Harold’s on Main. This cozy bar has quickly become a go-to spot for a fun night with friends or a relaxed evening of intimate conversation. Their delicious, innovative drinks combined with a perfectly lit, moody atmosphere makes Harold’s an easy choice on any night out. Bonus, if you stop by in the summer to take advantage of their patio Tiki Bar!”

4. Pounds

“Pounds claims ‘good vibes since 2015’ and I have to agree. Their playful interior and 8-bit branding make this spot a ton of fun to hang out in, and the food is the cherry on top. A major perk is their picnic-style patio that is totally pup-friendly, making this a regular destination for my wife and I during the summer season. My order? The Cherry Lime Cooler and the Yin and Yang Hippie Bowl.”

5. Brewhalla

“The newest hot spot for Fargo is Brewhalla, and I’m already a dedicated regular. The small business mall layout reminds me of Dairy Block in Denver in all the right ways. Being able to shop iconic local businesses like Unglued or Livin’ The Dream Pottery while sipping on a Drekker beer on tap makes this experience unlike any other in town.”

Emily’s Perfect Day in Fargo-Moorhead

On the off-chance that her schedule is totally clear for a day, we asked Emily what her “perfect day in Fargo-Moorhead” looked like.


“The perfect day for me would start with a walk to Youngblood Coffee for my caffeine fix. If not an Americano, I’ll order a matcha latte and then head to Terrace Yoga at Jasper—there is something about vinyasa and the views overlooking Broadway that keep me coming back!”


“After that fresh air, a trip to BernBaum’s with friends is my go-to. If we are really lucky, we might get the corner booth in the window to enjoy our post-workout meals. From there, I’d take a walk downtown or a motorcycle ride to Island Park to get some sun, relax in a hammock, and play catch to fill the rest of my late afternoon.”


“After a chill day, I will typically seek out a special event in town, check out Fargo Underground for suggestions, or hang out at one of my previously mentioned top bars or restaurants (Rosewild, Harold’s, Pounds, or Drekker & Brewhalla) to end the night with a great drink and meal in good company.”

Emily’s Hack to Downtown Fargo

“As a downtown Fargo superfan, hearing folks say the reason they don’t frequent downtown is the lack of parking spots makes me immediately jump into hospitality mode—there is so much more parking availability than people may think (over 2,000 spots)! After hearing about some of my favorite places, hopefully, you will want to come to experience this district yourself, and when you do, park in the Mercantile Ramp, the Civic Ramp, the ROCO Ramp, or surface lots like the NP Avenue Lot. Some of these options even allow for free parking for the first few hours of your visit! I will see you there!”

Other Free Surface Lots:
Evenings, 5 p.m. – 8 a.m, & Weekends

3rd Street Surface Lot, 320 Machinery Row N, Fargo
4th Street Surface Lot, 20 4th Street N, Fargo
C1 Surface Lot, 222 4th Street N, Fargo
C2 Surface Lot, 401 3rd Avenue N, Fargo

Monthly rate parking is available for all locations!

The Parking Deets

Mercantile Garage

410 5th St N, Fargo
Daily Rate: 0-2 Hours FREE
2-4 Hours $3; 4-6 Hours $5; All-Day $8
Lost Ticket Fee $8
Free evenings, 5 p.m. – 8 a.m, & Weekends

Civic Center Ramp

411 2nd Avenue N, Fargo
Daily Rate: $1.75 / Hour; $8.75 All-Day
Lost Ticket Fee $8.75
Free evenings, 5 p.m – 3 a.m., & Weekends

Roberts Commons (Roco)

217 Roberts Street N, Fargo
Daily Rate: 0-2 Hours FREE
2-4 Hours $3; 4-6 Hours $5; All-Day $8
Lost Ticket Fee $8
Free evenings, 5 p.m. – 8 a.m, & Weekends
*ChargePoint EV Charging Station

NP Avenue Lot

411 2nd Avenue N, Fargo
Daily Rate: $1 / Hour; $5 All-Day
Free evenings 5 p.m. – 8 a.m, & Weekends

Emily’s Local Picks for Entertainment

#1 Movie Night at Fargo Theatre

“The Fargo Theatre is a mere block from my apartment, so a night at the movies is a short walk away! I have always been a film fan, and my ideal date night definitely involves shared theater popcorn. The selection of films Fargo Theatre brings in is just as unique as the building itself; the iconic blockbusters are sure to be screened, but you can also catch some lesser-known, indie films there.

Emily’s Pro Tip: “Reserve Theater 2 for a private screening of your favorite movie—just bring in your own copy and kick back for the best time with friends!”

#2 Shopping Day Downtown

“My guilty (not so guilty) pleasure is browsing the shops downtown. Start at Zandbroz Variety to pick up a new book, work your way down to Scribble Lady Co. for local art, then to Proper and Kindred People for some new staple outfit pieces. I never miss stopping by Revolver to get lucky with a great vintage find or two. This is a great way to support local businesses and kill some time on a Saturday!”

#3 Put up a Hammock in Island Park

“When the weather calls for it, I’ll be at Island Park with my dogs, my hammock, and a mit to play catch. With basketball and tennis courts, grills, picnic tables, a playground, and a gorgeous gazebo, it’s truly a downtown gem. Two thumbs up to Fargo Parks on their maintenance of this space for the community! Keep an eye on their calendar—the Island Park Show is another cool vendor shopping experience every year.”

#4 Catch Live Music in Broadway Square

“Did someone say free outdoor concerts all summer long? Broadway Square works hard to program incredible musicians for performances several times a month throughout the summer season at Music @ The Square. Lay out a blanket on the green space and take advantage of one of the coolest, complimentary community offerings in downtown Fargo.”

Emily’s Pro Tip: “Rosewild will be hosting patio bars at each of these concerts throughout the season—now you can grab a refreshing drink while spending some much-needed time outside!”

#5 Take a Yoga Class at Yuj Yoga

“Let me start by saying I should absolutely be doing more of this, but taking a yoga class with Allison Grippe at Yuj Yoga is one of my favorite wellness experiences downtown. Sometimes trying a new group wellness class can be intimidating, but Allison is so welcoming and has curated her new studio beautifully to make everyone feel comfortable and set up for a great class.”

Emily’s Bonus: “If you’re new, use promo code BREATHE to attend your first class free!”

Q&A with Emily Olsen

Q: With the role of Jasper’s Director of Lifestyle, how do you find inspiration for the events that you plan?

A: My inspirations come from the vision I have for where Jasper is headed next, whether it’s in dreaming up the next big occasion or in partnering with local creatives to bring something entirely new to our community. I love keeping up with what local artists and business owners are up to, and if I can, I want to help bring those plans to life alongside them. These kinds of conversations are the birthplaces for my favorite local partnerships that make their way into the programming at Jasper Hotel.

Q: And, how do you make sure that the type of activities you plan are what the community wants to participate in?

A: It is no secret that not every individual event will appeal to everyone. However, it’s my goal to offer Jasper Hotel as a space for people to enjoy in whatever way appeals to them most. Whether it’s enjoying a cocktail accompanied by live music, working on wellness at Terrace Yoga, or having a night out at a party like COLOR, I try to activate the space with a wide variety of happenings, but only to compliment what is already a highly social and super cool space for anyone to take advantage of.

Q: You played a large role in bringing CreativeMornings back to the community. Why did you feel that this was necessary, and why did you think Jasper was the right venue fit?

A: CreativeMornings is an event that brings me joy for so many reasons, and I am proud to serve as the Secretary of the Fargo chapter. Being a creative person (which everyone is, by the way) can come with what I call a “silo”. Our work can become independent, introspective, and personal in a way that may lead to a bit of isolation. CreativeMornings is a space that encourages discussion about projects and points of view with like-minded change-makers, monthly. Plus, a little sweet treat and caffeine never hurt! Jasper’s vision of supporting local art and creating spaces for communities to gather parallels that of CreativeMornings—the partnership was only natural.

Q: This may be an impossible question but, what is your personal favorite event to attend in the FM area, and why?

A: Hands down, The Fargo Theatre’s presentation of Rocky Horror Picture Show. Every year around Halloween, this cult classic is revived before sold-out audiences all dressed in true camp fashion. Sitting in this historic, art deco movie theater, snacking on classic boxed m&m’s and popcorn, and watching as the most random props are thrown about the room is unlike any other night-out one could have in Fargo.

Q: How should someone who is interested in being active in the community go about finding opportunities? What resources can you recommend?

A: In Fargo, there is something for everyone, no matter your interests. My favorite resource for these opportunities is social media—when you discover a brand, club, or event that you like, chances are they are on social platforms. Follow them to keep up with their happenings! Pro tip: take a look at whom your favorite accounts are following, and chances are you’ll find your next favorite thing in town you may not have heard of yet. If you’re not on socials, then head straight to Fargo Underground or visit the Fargo-Moorhead local online calendars for a concise list of the coolest things happening on any given day.

Q: How do you think engaging so much in the community has influenced your time in Fargo?

A: I wasn’t born in Fargo, but when I’m asked, Fargo is absolutely my hometown. I grew up in Boise, Idaho, but moved here in 2010 and quickly fell in love with this place. Being engaged in the community has shown me aspects of my city that I would not have otherwise seen beyond a surface-level glance, whether it’s in the people I’ve met, the memories I’ve made, or the one-of-a-kind experiences I have had in one-of-a-kind spaces. The wildest part is that there are still amazing spots on my list that I haven’t visited yet!

Did you know?
The café in Jasper serves the iconic Stumbeano’s Coffee to fuel you all day long!

Where are you going when…

You need a break from the busy?

“When I’m looking to unwind, I pick up my camera and take a walk downtown or to a nearby local park for a hobby photography session (emphasis on hobby). Downtown Fargo is very architecturally intriguing and makes for a great subject that never gets old. When I’m done, I’ll stop into a space like Youngblood to enjoy an almond milk matcha latte and edit—just for fun!”

You’re in the mood for a good time?

“My friends and I have nailed down our good-time routine recently, and the formula is simple. The first stop is at Pounds for a delicious bite to eat either on the patio or in their very aesthetic dining room. After that, stop by Drekker for a craft beer—they always have something unique on tap! Beer is something I’ve only recently come around to, and it’s solely because of the atmosphere I get to enjoy while sipping on one at Drekker.”

A place you’d show off to someone special?

“It truly depends on who this someone special is, but a place nearby that makes for a great, intimate conversation is Harold’s On Main. This cozy, midcentury modern lounge serves excellent craft cocktails and notably does not have a single TV on its walls which adds to its already phenomenal, moody lighting.”

Emily’s Drink Rec: A classic cosmopolitan.

“It truly depends on who this someone special is, but a place nearby that makes for a great, intimate conversation is Harold’s On Main. This cozy, midcentury modern lounge serves excellent craft cocktails and notably does not have a single TV on its walls which adds to its already phenomenal, moody lighting.”

You need to get stuff done?

“This may seem biased, but the premier space to get creative or productive is in Jasper Hotel’s Lounge and Lobby. This space was meticulously styled to blend high design with midwestern comfort, and it shows. Sitting in front of the fire at a long, communal table sets you up for a great meeting or solo-work session, and if you’re marathoning your work day, you can get breakfast, lunch, and dinner there from the delicious Rosewild restaurant!”


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