Weather Forecast


City changing its name? Not so fast

Several signs were posted around town declaring Bemidji was changing its name, effective April 1, 2014, which also happens to be April Fool’s Day. SUBMITTED PHOTO

How do you spell “Bemidji”? It’s a frequent question from out-of-towners, especially when they’re trying to send you mail (electronically or otherwise).

“Brrrrmidji” is a take on the local weather’s tendency to make people shiver.

But “Bamidgee”?

Several large signs were posted around town Monday declaring the city was changing its name effective April Fool's Day 2014, the worst day of the year for gullible people. Furthermore, the signs stated, Nymore and South Lake Irving would be changed to “South Bamidgee.”

This change, slipping under the radar of this intrepid city hall reporter, was made effective under ordinance No. 040113, though no such code exists.

One sign was posted outside Glenn Seibel’s place of business, Orion Financial Group Inc., when he came into work Monday morning. It didn’t take the financial advisor long to know it was a joke.

He called the police, who confirmed that, yes, a handful of similar signs were placed around town. City crews came by and removed it later.

“I’ve never seen it spelled that way,” Seibel said.

Neither has the Internet, apparently. A quick Google search of the word turns up two pages of miscellaneous results, with a question at the top:

“Did you mean Bemidji?”

Yes, I believe I did. 

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

(701) 255-5607