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WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 22, 2013, 05:49 PM

Pride of Dakota showcase is at Fargo Civic Center

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Hundreds of vendors selling North Dakota products are all in one place this weekend.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Hundreds of vendors selling North Dakota products are all in one place this weekend.

The Pride of Dakota Showcase opened about an hour ago at the Fargo Civic Center.

For some of these vendors, shows like this can make or break their business.

“We just love making stuff. You create something out of nothing.”

It's a labor of love, in more ways than one.

For years, husband-and-wife duo Mark and Sandy Carey have created works of art using everything from torn down barns to wood drifting in the river.

Mark Carey/M & S Enterprises: “We take birch trees from the Turtle Mountains in North Dakota and we turn them into snowmen.”

The couple works out of their home back in Minot.

Mark says the five or six showcases they travel to each year account for about 60-percent of their business.

Carey: "One lady here in Fargo she has come every single year we have been here and she's bought stuff from us."

Meantime, Andrew Knudson works in his backyard, poring over turkey feathers to make tiny oil paintings.

While much of his business is custom work, he agrees that these shows make a big difference in his bottom line.

Andrew Knudson/Plains Perspective Art Studio: "The primary reason for me coming to these shows is advertising. I get a lot of custom orders as a result of being here."

Some of the vendors do have their own stores, but they're based in small towns and wouldn't see this much foot traffic in months.

Last year, more than 9,000 people came through the doors.

Carey: "The small businesses that wouldn't have a venue of this type to display their products. And the people that come here, they love North Dakota products."

The showcase goes until nine tonight and continues throughout the weekend.

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