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Published September 20, 2013, 10:01 AM

East Grand Forks Craft Fair is back

The East Grand Forks Arts and Crafts Fair is back.

By: Jasmine Maki, Grand Forks Herald

The East Grand Forks Arts and Crafts Fair is back.

The fair, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 5 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 6 in the East Grand Forks Civic Center and the VFW Memorial Ice Arena, is one of the biggest craft shows in the area. This year, it includes about 120 booths of arts, crafts and food vendors, with all proceeds benefitting East Grand Forks arts and art education.

“We have everything from woodworking to metal works, to embroidery, to knitting and crocheting, to jewelry,” said Lorraine O’Shea, a member of the East Grand Forks Arts and Crafts Council. “Pretty much any kind of crafts you can think of.”

O’Shea has been involved with the event for six years, but said she’s attended the East Grand Forks event for years.

“Oh, I just love to see all the vendors, see what’s interesting and what’s new,” she said. “I love to look at what other people have done.”

O’Shea said about 25 percent of the vendors are new to the event this year. Some of the additions include crafters who are repurposing old items, a gentleman who makes his own pasta and someone who makes his own bagels.

She said she and the other council members are always looking for new crafters to invite to their event. While the majority of vendors are from North Dakota and Minnesota, she said they also have vendors from Idaho, Iowa, South Dakota and a few other states.

Julie Risteigen, of Argyle, Minn., is one of the many crafters selling her work at the fair this year.

Risteigen has always had a love for animals and she said she started taking in strays when she was just 9. Last year, she started putting her passion for animals into her crafts.

“I started doing what I like and what I like for my pets, and it just grew from there,” she said.

The 2012 East Grand Forks Arts and Crafts Fair was Risteigen’s first craft show. The 2013 show in East Grand Forks will be her sixth.

“It was just a great show and a great beginning,” she said.

Risteigen’s pieces are all animal-themed and include painted barn boards, soft harnesses made of fleece and cotton, collar scrunchies and dog and cat home decor.

She also makes homemade dog treats, which she said sell out at every show.

Risteigen has six dogs and two cats, some of which she brings along to outdoor craft shows. She said her pets are always a good conversation starter. “Talking with people about their pets and hearing their stories is the most rewarding thing,” she said.

For more information about the East Grand Forks Arts and Crafts Fair, visit their website, linked here.

If you go...

What: The East Grand Forks Arts and Crafts Fair.

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 5 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 6.

Where: East Grand Forks Civic Center and VFW Memorial Ice Arena.

Cost: Free admission.

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