Basin Electric employees light Touchstone Energy booth during Norsk Høstfest

Patrons line the Touchstone Energy booth at the Minot, ND, fairgrounds Oct. 3, during Norsk Høstfest.

Patrons line the Touchstone Energy booth Oct. 3 during Norsk Høstfest.

The thousands of patrons who walk through the Minot, ND, fairgrounds during Norsk Høstfest can expect to be graced with smiles, goodies and information when they approach the Touchstone Energy booth.

The elongated set of tables, adorned in blue decorative cloth and a host of artistic co-op display signs, is recognized by Høstfest attendees as the place to be in order to get the scoop on who’s performing, what there is to eat, or what’s happened since the previous Høstfest. And, of course, it’s the place to score free cookies. Watch the video.

“I’m living the dream,” says Michael Riedman, Basin Electric electric technology coordinator.

Riedman has traveled with Basin Electric to Høstfest for the past 10 years, and he knows exactly why it’s always fun.

“The people,” he says. “You meet folks from all over.”

Not just from all over North Dakota. Riedman greeted folks from as far away as Norway and Chile.

He quickly turns his attention to a woman approaching his end of the booth. Riedman knows the drill, and immediately hands her a cookie.

Just feet from where people are thanking Riedman for handing out the treats, Ellen and Brandon Holt work as a team to keep others informed. Ellen is vice president of Human Resources at Basin Electric.

When a couple approaches the booth asking about two TVs that are part of a drawing, the Holts jump to attention. After a morning of standing post at the booth, the two are experts with the goings-on of the event.

“There are waves of people,” Brandon says as he scours the surrounding area. “They’re really excited, and they really enjoy their experience here.”

It is also the job of representatives like the Holts to hand out Norsk Høstfest pins, which change in design every year. The pins are designed by Julie Ness.

Ness, Basin Electric multimedia specialist III, also designed the majority of the Høstfest sign work that can be seen all over the fairgrounds. She worked with team members from Basin Electric to turn a nearby livestock barn into a beautifully decorated entertainment and leisure area for the event.

Seeing as the festivities at Høstfest are meant to be shared with the outside world, Basin Electric Communications and Media Specialist Jeremy Woeste stands near the Touchstone Energy booth, manning the organization’s radio booth. It’s Woeste’s job to line up radio interviews during the event. With three radio shows a day, and around 80 different interviews within the week, he keeps busy.

Woeste takes a minute to consider some of the interviews that have already taken place. He mentions a female polka performer, as well as a folk rocker from Arkansas. But there’s one interview that makes Woeste chuckle: the Nelson brothers, also known as the band Nelson.

“It went back to my high school days,” Woeste says. “They sang a couple songs that I actually knew back then.”

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