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'Party in the (Oil) Patch' gets pooped

WILLISTON, N.D. -- If you haven't bought tickets for the Memorial Day weekend Party in the Patch, you may want to hold off.

Event promoter Troy McKinley got "over-exuberant" when he started advertising the singles party geared for oil workers at a campground that's being developed south of Williston, one of the property owners said Sunday.

The landowner, who did not want to give his name because he doesn't want to be associated with the event, said McKinley had discussed the idea with them, but they never agreed to host it.

"We kind of thought it was a joke," he said.

McKinley, a Williston-area truck driver, said he's advertising in Chicago, the Twin Cities and elsewhere to bring women to the Oil Patch for a weekend-long singles dance. He's selling tickets online, $150 for the weekend for men and $20 for women. He's aiming to have one to two women for every five guys in attendance.

McKinley said he thought they had an agreement to hold the event at a 110-acre property in McKenzie County about 25 miles south of Williston. He had been advertising it on his website and telling media outlets about the location.

"I thought we had pretty much a handshake agreement," McKinley said. "I take full responsibility for not having things more solidified when it comes to a location."

McKinley said he's still working with the property owners to see if they can reach an agreement. But the landowner said they've made it clear they don't want to be associated with the event.

"That's not happening here," the landowner said. "I don't want to have any problems with neighbors."

McKinley said he has a backup location, also near Williston, that he's working on. He has not yet applied for a liquor permit, but said he may make the event BYOB.

In the meantime, McKinley is continuing to sell tickets on his website,, even without a location.

"One way or another, I plan on having a dance," McKinley said. "The party will go on."