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Artists and chefs at arts festival Saturday

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life Jamestown, 58401

Jamestown North Dakota 121 3rd St NW 58401

The fifth annual Jamestown Chef’s Challenge and the Arts Center’s Celebration of Local Foods and Regional Arts will both be held in the Arts Park on Saturday.

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Sally Jeppson, Jamestown Arts Center gallery manager, said the event will be like a farmers market in much larger communities and will feature “a kaleidoscope of activities for the entire family.”

“It will have the feel of a farmers market but will include kids’ activities and handmade artwork,” she said. “People can sample homemade preserves, purchase fresh flowers and herbs or take a look at what the artists are offering. There will be ceramics, jewelry, cards, crochet and more.”

Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lisa Hicks said local gardeners can come to the park and sell produce as well.

“You don’t have to be a member of the farmers market, don’t have to be associated with the farmers market at all,” Hicks said. “Anyone who’s got a garden privately, and they have extra produce, they can come down and sell it. They don’t have to have a license, they don’t have to have anything like that … They just can’t sell eggs or milk or anything that can go bad, but definitely fresh produce.”

The event runs from 1 to 5 p.m., admission is free and it is sponsored by the Arts Center, the Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce, the Jamestown Downtown Association and Jamestown Tourism. Contestants in the Chef’s Challenge can begin setting up at 3 p.m., cooking will begin at 4 p.m., and the winner will be announced at 5 p.m.

The Chef’s Challenge has previously been held at the Stutsman County Fair, but Hicks said turnout had been low at the fairgrounds and hopes teaming with the Arts Center will boost interest. Contestants in the challenge cook local produce that is provided to them and will not know what they will be cooking with until the last minute. They must bring their own grills and are allowed to bring spices, tools and other kitchen aides from home.

Hicks said there will be all new teams competing this year. Registration for this year’s event has been closed.

“Right now we’ve got three (teams) signed up and there’s a possible fourth,” she said. “We’ve had four or five each year so this is pretty common.”

The judges for the event are Arts Center Director Taylor Barnes, Jamestown Downtown Association President Nancy Miller and Diane Satrom, who has won three of the last four Chef’s Challenges.

Hicks said the Chef’s Challenge was almost postponed due to a bad growing season and a lack of local produce from all the rain, but Jeppson stepped up to offer food from her own garden for the chefs. Rain has already affected other chamber events this summer.

“We’ve had the weather from hell this year,” Hicks said. “We weren’t able to have the Ag Bus Tour because of the conditions out at the (Spiritwood) Energy (Park Association industrial) park,” Hick said. “With all of the mud we had to cancel our tour because they didn’t want any buses out there … But we’re definitely still having the Arts in the Park.”

In case of inclement weather the activities will be moved indoors to the Arts Center across the street from the Arts Park.

“We’re going to have lots of food left for sampling and the food is going to be amazing, so it’s going to be a good time,” Hicks said.

Sun reporter David Luessen can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at dluessen@jamestownsun.com

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