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3 Dickinson vendor shows highlight weekend

If you go

Pride of Dakota Dickinson Harvest Showcase

When: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Dickinson Recreation Center

Admission: $2, $1 off with fresh produce donation, $1 off when patrons bring reusable cloth shopping bag.

Fall Fling Vendor Affair

When: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Biesiot Activities Center

Admission: Free

Downtown Crawl and Vendor Fair

When: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Where: Downtown Dickinson, on Sims Street between Villard Street and the alley.

Admission: Free

If anyone is bored this weekend in Dickinson, they're doing something wrong. Autumn's first day will see three vendor fairs in the city.

The Pride of Dakota Dickinson Harvest Showcase kicks of the 2013 Pride of Dakota vendor show season Saturday morning at the Dickinson Recreation Center.

"We have over 80 vendors there this year and so we have a wide variety of different products from food and beverages to books to décor to apparel items and on and on and on," said Kelly Wald of the Pride of Dakota office.

There will also be a Fall Fling vendor show Saturday at the Biesiot Activities Center featuring products like Pampered Chef, Scentsy and Tastefully Simple.

"We're going to have about 30 vendors there," said BettyJo Noe, independent Scentsy family director, who is organizing the Fall Fling. "For this show I have a lot of hand-crafted items, so there's going to be more crafts than normal."

And to pull people into Dickinson's up-and-coming downtown Saturday, retailers and businesses in that area are hosting the Downtown Crawl, bringing vendors to the streets and supporting local fundraisers.

"We knew the other stuff was going on and we're like perfect -- people are out and they're about," said Jayme Hieck, owner of Moe Moe's Garden and member of the Downtown Dickinson Association Steering Committee.

The Pride of Dakota shows feature members of the North Dakota Agriculture Department-sponsored group. The main requirement of being a Pride of Dakota member is to produce a product or service that is made in the state.

"It started back in 1985 with 20 or 25 companies and the whole intention behind it was just to help North Dakota small businesses get started," Wald said.

Dickinson has been the first big show for the group for the fall and winter season, Wald said. For the first time, Williston is hosting an autumn show. The oil hub city typically hosts a spring showcase.

"It's just kind of the time of the year that it happens to be at," Wald said when asked how the Harvest Showcases differ from the Holiday Showcases.

In addition to the showcases, there are Pride of Dakota days each spring and fall at the Capitol building in Bismarck, Wald said.

Admission to the Harvest Showcase is $2 per person, but patrons get a $1 discount when they bring a cloth shopping bag, Wald said. Those not bringing a cloth bag will receive one with paid admission. An additional $1 off can be obtained by bringing a fresh produce donation for the Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis Center.

"We just thought it was a really neat idea with the whole harvest theme and then also people are cleaning out their gardens," Wald said. "Why not donate it rather than let it go to waste because you can't eat it all?"

Noe hosts shows at the BAC in September, October and November to help prepare vendors and their shoppers for the holiday season. The Fall Fling happened to fall on Saturday because Dickinson State University football is on the road this weekend.

The Fall Fling features all types of local representatives of regional and national direct sellers, Noe said. In addition to purchasing cash-and-carry items the day of the show, shoppers can place orders and set up parties.

"I actually think this is the perfect time of year to get started on your holiday shopping," Noe said. "Come and look around and start making your Christmas list for yourself and your gifts so you can budget throughout the whole holiday season to purchase things."

The outdoor vendor show downtown features local crafters, Heick said.

In addition to the street fair, downtown stores are hosting the Downtown Crawl. Shoppers are given a punch card at any participating business and can get a punch at each store, no purchase necessary. Once the card is full, it can be entered to win a Dickinson staycation, featuring a night at a suite at the Astoria Hotel, supper at Grand Dakota Grille and movie tickets.

"So, kind of a nice evening," Heick said.