Holiday Showcases draw almost 34,000 shoppers

BISMARCK – Nearly 34,000 shoppers participated in the four Pride of Dakota Holiday Showcases in November and December 2013.

“Attendance at the Fargo, Grand Forks and Minot Showcases were all-time records,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “The Bismarck Showcase was the largest ever in the number of participating vendors.”

Goehring said the numbers reflect the growing popularity of the Pride of Dakota program with both shoppers and members.

“Every year, more North Dakotans look forward to the Holiday Showcases, knowing they will find unique, high quality products while supporting our state's small businesses,” he said. “Pride of Dakota member companies know the showcases draw people who are specifically looking for locally-made products.”

The Fargo Showcase, Nov. 22-24, attracted 9,714 people, almost 1,200 more than the previous record. Attendance at the Grand Forks Showcase, held Nov. 9-10, was 6,331, compared to 6,053 in 2012. The Minot Showcase, held Nov. 16-17, drew 6,836 customers, an increase of 2,553 over the previous year.

Goehring said the total attendance fell only 269 short of last year's record mark.

“Inclement weather affected the turnout at the Bismarck Showcase, where attendance was 10,876, down more than 3,200 from last year's record total,” he said.

Many shoppers took advantage of the half-price admission offer by bringing their own reusable shopping bags.

Curtiss Kovash Jr. of Fargo and Al Stanek of Bismarck each won $250 in Pride of Dakota bucks in the Pride of Dakota passport program, sponsored by North Dakota Corn Growers Association and the North Dakota Ethanol Council.

Administered by North Dakota Department of Agriculture Marketing and Information Division, the Pride of Dakota program provides member companies with cooperative marketing and promotional events, such as in-store demonstrations, Pride of Dakota Day and the Holiday Showcases and Harvest Showcases. The program also provides educational opportunities and representation at regional, national and international marketing expositions. More than 500 North Dakota companies are Pride of Dakota members. More information is available at www.prideofdakota.com.