The news broke out on Monday afternoon via the Mandan Progress Organization's Facebook page.

 The Mandan Progress Organization is excited to announce our new Executive Director - Matt Schanandore. A Mandan native, Matt brings to the organization a wealth of expertise in operations and local events. We are thrilled to have Matt guiding the organization, and look forward to good things to come!

It's always exciting news to see local talent recognized and elevated to positions where their skills can even better serve their community.

You're most likely familiar with Matt Schanadore, he's been the Interpretive & Events Director for Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park. He's been directing the historical programs since 2007.  But Matt was making some history himself by spearheading the epic "Haunted Fort" attraction that still annually draws more than 8,000 visitors to get the scare of their lives.

I've worked together in the past with Matt promoting the Haunted Fort, so I figured I give him a call to say congratulations.

He sounded pretty darn excited about his new position and it seems he will officially start in early January. One of the first things I needed to know- what's he going to do now that he has to wear different clothes every day?  Matt said he's going to have to do some clothes shopping as he has a closet filled with khaki park stuff.  So I'd suggest a new wardrobe if  Matt's on your Christmas list.

My next question...

How's he going to get Del Wetsch OUT OF THE BUILDING!

Del retired in 2020 after 27 years with the MPO. One time I spoke with Del and he was looking forward to passing the torch.  The next time I saw Del he was on Main in Mandan elbows deep in another community event.  Matt assures me that Del is ready to sit back and watch.  Interesting concept.

Let us all welcome and congratulate Matt Schanadore as he gets going as the new Executive Director of the Mandan Progress Association.

and yes I did talk with him about improving McKenzie Drive access to South Mandan.  Not sure if that's part of his job duties.  Speaking of "not sure", where does the Haunted Fort go from here?  Hopefully, organizations can work together to make that happen again in 2022.

The front photo is taken from the YouTube channel The Paranormal Files (Official Channel) it's a program where ghost hunters travel to areas reported to be haunted.  This time around Matt showed the crew Fort Abraham Lincoln.  A job he's performed at the park for a great many years.  Seems these guys think it's pretty scary even when not filled with Haunted Fort zombies. When you get the time, give it a's what a Paranormal Files host had to say about the fort.

This episode is one of the scariest that I've EVER filmed... George Custer's House in North Dakota is an EXTREMELY haunted house, and we found out the hard way... the paranormal activity we caught on camera was VERY SPOOKY!


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