Residents of all ages gathered at Melgaard Park on Saturday to enjoy the first day of Arts in the Park.
Among them was vendor Paul Nielsen and his handmade wooden toys. Nielsen, of Moorhead, Minn., has traveled to craft shows for 27 years.
Nielsen watched proudly as people browsed his collection of pinewood novelties.
Chris Neys of Pingree, N.D., filled a booth with her handmade earthenware. Neys has been selling her pottery creations for 26 years. She and husband Floyd display their wares at about 40 shows a year.
"What started out as a hobby turned into a full time job," Neys said. "I love it."
The two artisans were among more than 100 arts and craft booths, food vendors and entertainers set up in the park during the annual arts festival sponsored by the Aberdeen Area Arts Council and the Aberdeen Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department.
Crystal Jenson, an Aberdeen resident, aimed Saturday to see the items on display.
"It's fun to come out and see the different art that you normally can't get in Aberdeen," Jenson said — but food also was on the menu.
Chicken gyros are her yearly favorite, Jenson said. Her daughter, Grace, 3, sat in a stroller nearby, eating a corndog.
The festival's fare ranged from gyros and corndogs to kettlecorn and lemonade to mouthwatering delights such as chocolate-drizzled kabobs and minidoughnuts.
Lisa Oswald of Aberdeen said she heard the new food to try this year was the mushroom on a stick — but she's not a fan of mushrooms.
Others craved more traditional carnival delights.
"The funnel cakes," said Holly Novstrup of Aberdeen, when asked about her favorite. "Have to go back and get some yet."
Whether it was the shopping at the arts and craft booths, taking in the entertainment or sampling the food, festivalgoers had the opportunity Saturday to enjoy the atmosphere and warm weather.
"Couldn't have asked for a better day," said Dawn Sahli, a staff member with the Aberdeen Area Arts Council. "So far it looks like a really good turnout."
The event will continue from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today at Melgaard Park in Aberdeen.