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Bowman gets crafty at 48th Annual Fling Thing

People browse the homemade crafts at the 48th Annual Fling Thing. Submitted Photo.

Have you ever wondered how people passed the time before the age of computers and cell phones? Believe it or not, people did something called “crafting” to pass the time.

By Frank Turner

Although some may consider it an archaic remnant of previous generations, artisans and craftsmen from around the region gathered in Bowman on Nov. 3, at the 4 Season Pavilion for the 48th Annual Fling Thing to show the tradition of crafting is still alive and thriving.

The Fling Thing is a craft and vendor show that benefits the local 4-H organization. There, vendors can show off and sell their homemade goods to the public. 4-H also serves a meal to raise funds for the local program.

According NDSU Bowman County Extension Administrative Assistant Leah King, the Bowman Homemakers Club, a former crafting club, started the original Fling Thing 1971.

“The club would meet regularly and share different cooking and crafting techniques,” said King. “The older generation would teach the younger generation how to do regular household things like canning and sewing.”

The club created the Fling Thing event with the original intention to teach and demonstrate new crafts and techniques to the public. Eventually the event turned into a crafts and vendor show and was turned into a fundraiser for the local 4-H organization.

This year, over 45 vendors registered for the event. At the event people sold hand-woven apparel items, seasonal crafts, homemade aromatic candles, woodcrafts and much more. King said that due to high interest and limited space, some vendors even had to be turned away.

“Next year we are hoping to rearrange the event so that we can accommodate a good ten more vendors,” she said.

According to King, vendors came from all over the region to set up a booth at the event. 

“We had vendors from South Dakota and Montana,” said King.  “We even had one vender who drove four hours to come to the event.”

Overall, King said that the event was incredibly successful. She estimated that well over 500 people attended the event.

“Last year we only had 420 people attend the event, so we were really happy with how this year went,” said King.

King said the proceeds from the booth fees and the 4-H meal go to benefit the local 4-H organization. Although the total amount raised for 4-H has yet to be totaled, King said that last year the event raised over $3,200.

“It all goes to the 4-H, which they use for different programs and events,” said King.

She continued, “We are very pleased and happy how things turned out this year. We had a wonderful day, and we were thankful for all the vendors and people that made it to the Fling Thing this year.”

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