WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 22, 2013, 05:28 PM

60 on 6: A bizarre Spring Break idea called "Zip to Zap"

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- New York had its Woodstock. North Dakota had "Zip to Zap."

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- New York had its Woodstock. North Dakota had "Zip to Zap."

Tonight, as celebrates is 60th year on the air, we look back at some of the big newsmaker stories.

On 60 on 6, a bizarre Spring Break idea turned into Zap, North Dakota's nightmare.

It was May of 1969, NDSU students lamented the fact so many of them could not afford to head to Florida for Spring Break. So, tongue in cheek, they pitched a trip out west. To Zap, North Dakota. A small town of 250 people near Bismarck.

Irv Rustad- Zap Participant: "It was a question if we go to Ft. Lauderdale or Zap and Zap won. It was a cross between Woodstock and a kegger. Is the way it ended up."

As the date approached, the AP picked up the story. Soon, word spread throughout the country, and young people started the drive west to North Dakota.

Dave Holsen- Zap Participant: "You would stop for fuel or beer and there were a lot of college students along the way with out of state plates."

At first, Zap, North Dakota embraced the fame. The town thought why not welcome a few hundred people. But the weekend of May 9-11th, it wasn't hundreds, but thousands who showed up. So did the National News.

The ND community is quiet after a weekend rampage by college students.

Kenneth Gardner Jr. Film Courtesy: "As Chet Huntley from our NBC headquarters in New York reported, the mayor of Zap called in the National Guard to control the crowd, that became unruly after the party goers ran out of beer, and what little liquor was left, was being sold at inflated prices at the town's two bars."

Somebody woke us up and said the jeeps were coming.

The late Dave Holsen, longtime MSUM employee even made national news that night.

The guard forced the young people out of Zap. The party continued in nearby towns. There was damage to to the town. Those who partied help pay the cost. It was no Woodstock, but the Zip to Zap remains as the Spring Break college kids stayed home in North Dakota and made their own headlines.

Student government groups at NDSU and UND ultimately helped pay the 25,000 dollars in damage to the town of Zap.