Art in the Park attracts crowd

2013-07-03T16:40:00Z Art in the Park attracts crowdBy LEXI JORGENSON | Bismarck Tribune Bismarck Tribune

MANDAN, N.D. - Vendors and shoppers alike return to Dykshoorn Park annually to indulge in the hustle and bustle of Art in the Park.

Various vendors selling everything from food to crafts lined the park and drew crowds to enjoy the art and entertainment.


A popular craft was wood carving.

Mark Levsen of Webster, S.D., started selling hand-carved driftwood at Art in the Park three years ago.

"I love coming to this particular show. It's one of my favorites," Levsen said. "I come back every year; I just love the people of North Dakota."

Levsen began carving after visiting an art fair in Moscow while adopting his two children.

He purchased some wood carvings, which sparked interest in what is now a full-time career as a professional wood carver.

Levsen's best sellers are his driftwood crosses inscribed with Bible verses.

He demonstrates his carving technique outside his booth.

The Dakota Woodturners also demonstrate their craft for the public.

The Woodturners hand-make spinning tops and give them to kids as they come by.

"The kids can try to spin them, and if they can, they can have one," said Dakota Woodturners member Dale Sauer, a "retired farmer that found a hobby."

The club started in 1998 and has 80 members. Meetings are held the second Saturday of each month.

"We've been at the Art in the Park for at least eight years," said Ron Day, president of Dakota Woodturners.

Also a longtime seller at Art in the Park is The Toy Maker, Paul Nielsen, who has sold for the past six years.

"(I) kinda started making toys and had to find a way to get rid of them," Nielsen said.

He has been hand-making his wooden toys, which are glued together so there are no hidden screws, for 29 years.

"They're all my original design," Nielsen said.

Kristie Stroh has stopped by The Toy Maker booth every year for those six years to buy her kids, George, 6, and Brooke, 9, a hand-crafted toy.

"They take the toys home and paint them the way they want them," Stroh said. "Pretty soon we'll have all of them."


Food vendors also have people coming back each year.

The Bismarck Lions sell corn on the cob every year.

"It's the healthiest thing sold here," Dakota Lions member Arnie Fleck said.

The proceeds go to various Lions charities, like the seeing eye dog programs, and to scholarships.

"I'm sure today we will be busy before all is said and done," said Olsen Rig, a Dakota Lions member.

Homemade Indian tacos also are a popular food.

"We've been here for 15 years," Marv Pederson said. "It's part of the Fourth — making some Indian tacos, listening to some good music."


Music and entertainment are essential parts of the event.

Jason Huenke performed his 45-minute juggling and magic act for a crowd of intrigued kids.

Jocelyn Julson, 10, had fun being a volunteer for the act.

Her favorite part about Art in the Park is "walking around and looking at all the things people have made, and the shows up here are fun to watch."

Art in the Park runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Fourth.

​Lexi Jorgenson is an intern at the Bismarck Tribune. Reach ​Lexi Jorgenson at 701-250-8256 or

Copyright 2016 Bismarck Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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