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Relatives travel thousands of miles to attend Strand Family Reunion in Portland, North Dakota

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feature Grand Forks,ND
Relatives travel thousands of miles to attend Strand Family Reunion in Portland, North Dakota
Grand Forks ND 2220 South Washington

Portland, ND (WDAY TV0 - Portland, North Dakota was the home to quite the family reunion today.

Around 150 people gathered in the small town, travelling from across the country to enjoy food, games and some old time threshing.

No claims of family reunion boredom from these kids, fun jumping and tossing,

“I'm having fun meeting new people.”

Families traveling near and far for the Strand Reunion.


“We came from Portland, Oregon.”

“It's about 1,500 miles.”

Young and old gathering, 33 aunts and uncles present, 32 cousins as well

Mark Strand/Strand Reunion: “Descendants of Jens and Ana Marie stand who came from Norway in the 1880s.”

Family reunited, sharing food, fun and conversation

Solveig Jondahl/Strand Reunion: “It's overwhelming to see everybody, trying remember all the names.”

Michael: “This is where my mom's from, it's just nice to come back and see everybody again.”

Today's reunion wouldn't be complete without the traditional threshing, yet another way for those here today to remember where their family came from.

Robert Strand/Strand Reunion: “The guy that owns this farm said he'd like to have a reunion here and we're going to thresh he said!”

Mark: “A symbol of what our family has come from.”

Shayla: “It's quite a bit of work. A lot harder than I thought it was going to be.”

A day of both fun and a little hard work, done together. Learning about the past while living in the present with each other.

Mark: “With each generation I think it gets harder, as they live in the technological world.”

Benjamin Strand/Strand Reunion: “Everyone's sitting on their phones and you don't necessarily learn anything from your elders and this gives you a chance to really get to know them and their stories.”

So the young ones may play,

Benjamin: “When you're younger you just show up and play games.”

While those a little older make conversation.

Anna Strand/Strand Reunion: “It's a lot of fun to see and meet new family members, appreciate them more now than I did.”

But the truth is it doesn't matter what you do, whether it be play, talk or thresh. Because you're at the Strand Reunion, and whatever you choose to do, you're doing it together.

Mark: “You need cousins, you need uncles & aunts, grandparents, you need people investing in you from the time you're born and standing with you.”

The reunion, a 3 day event, concludes tomorrow.

The family tries to hold a reunion every 5 to 10 years.

Michael Yoshida