BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — North Dakota has more than 75,000 small businesses, according to the U.S. Department of Small Businesses.

Pride of Dakota is under the North Dakota Department of Agriculture as a way to promote and market North Dakota businesses.

The final Pride of Dakota showcase of the year is being held at the Bismark Event Center.

The two-day event offers a chance to buy unique products, like gourmet food, books, jewelry, home decor, apparel, and more!

“I love shopping at the Pride of Dakota every year because I can get a variety of different things, all my shopping done in one spot for lots of different people in my family. And then the kids just love to run around and get samples and do all kinds of things,” said Julia Singer, a shopper.

The Pride of Dakota brand means a good or service is made, manufactured, or produced in North Dakota.

Since the program started more than 500 businesses are participants.

“Started in 1985. Just to bring awareness to our North Dakota entrepreneurs and North Dakota businesses. And what started at, I believe about 25 companies, has grown to 535 companies currently. So a lot of North Dakota entrepreneurs,” said Katie Huizenga, a Pride of Dakota specialist.

And while the showcase does provide consumers the chance to buy goods, it’s equally important to the sellers.

This is the chance to get their name out there and display what they make right in our communities.

“This is my livelihood. I work from home, my husband’s a mechanic. He works from home and so our whole life is self-employed small business. I do custom sewing. A lot of embroidery work. I do the hooded towels for kids, is one of my best ones. I also do the car seat covers for the kids.” said Chris Birrenkott, owner of Sunflower Stitches.

Huizenga says it’s important to highlight local businesses.

They’re the backbone of our neighborhoods and cities, setting our state’s commerce on a constant cycle that keeps our cities running.

“I think we probably, North Dakota, probably gets a bad name not thinking we have a lot of self-made businesses. And people like buying local. They like supporting their neighbors, and friends, and cousins, and family. People want to support local,” said Huizenga.

Admission is free to the showcase thanks to the Bank of North Dakota College SAVE plan.

And if you’re looking for some special holiday gifts this Christmas season, you’ll probably find them there.

Because it’s important to note, the treasures we’re looking for are really in our own backyard.

The Pride of Dakota Showcase’s shopping hours lasts until 9 p.m. on Friday.

And Saturday’s shopping hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Santa Claus will also be available for pictures until 7 p.m. on Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.