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Island Park Show offers food, arts, crafts and more

FARGO - It all started with a chain saw and an idea. Jay Ray of Fargo was reading the paper one morning three years ago when he saw an article about chain saw carving, and he thought it would be a fun new hobby. "It gave me a reason to buy a chai...

FARGO - It all started with a chain saw and an idea.

Jay Ray of Fargo was reading the paper one morning three years ago when he saw an article about chain saw carving, and he thought it would be a fun new hobby.

"It gave me a reason to buy a chain saw," he said.

Through trial and error, he began to master the craft. He creates mostly bears, as well as eagles, flamingoes, turtles and more. His business, based out of West Fargo, also takes custom orders.

Some creations, like most of the bears, take about three or four hours from start to finish, including time to sand and varnish.

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This year he is showcasing his work at the Island Park Show, a two-day arts and crafts show in Island Park in downtown Fargo, operating from 10 a.m.

to 5 p.m. today.

With more than 140 vendors, the event has stands for clothing, florals, furniture, jewelry, painting, sculptures, pottery and ceramics and more.

Suzie's Sassy Salsa stand has a creation with food for the spicier side of life.

Sue Strick-Lopez has been making her own salsa from her garden for about seven years, and she's been at the Island Park Show for four years.

The Forest Lake, Minn., woman gets a lot of repeat customers, and because she only comes to Fargo for occasions like this, some customers bulk up and buy salsa by the case rather than by the jar.

Her salsa comes in three levels of spice: mild, medium and hot. Strick-Lopez says one of the reasons her salsa stands out from others on the grocery store shelves is because of the taste.

"First comes the sweet, then the flavor, and then the spice rolls in," she said. "The heat doesn't overbear the flavor; it's a nice, slow burn."

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Passers-by seemed to agree. Many people stopped to try a sample of the salsa, and Strick-Lopez said 80 percent of people try and buy.

Another popular vendor Saturday was Nature's Therapy, based out of Wahpeton. The stand, run by Tracy Issendorf, sells regular soy candles, wood-wick soy candles, potpourri, diffusers, refresher oils and more.

Potpourri seemed to be the fan favorite, with clusters of women and the occasional man or two flocking to the various scents.

Nature's Therapy has been running for 12 years, and there's no sign of stopping any time soon.

"It's my fifth or sixth year here," Issendorf said. "It's always a good show."

If you go

  • What: Island Park Show
  • When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today
  • Where: Island Park, First Avenue and Seventh Street South, Fargo
  • Info: Free admission

Readers can reach Forum reporter Jessica Ballou at (701) 237-7311

Related Topics: EVENTS
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