Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Helena Rodriguez
PORTALES—If you're nuts about arts and crafts, then the 31st annual Peanut Valley Festival is the place to be.
More than 100 arts and crafts and food vendors will be peddling all kinds of handmade goods - from woodwork and jewelry to salsa and Christmas décor, and, oh yes, peanuts - during the Peanut Valley Festival. The event is Saturday, Oct. 23, from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 24, from noon to 5 p.m. inside the Campus Union Building at Eastern New Mexico University. Admission is free.
Besides handmade goods, other attractions will include tethered hot air balloon rides (weather permitting) by Sigma Chi, live entertainment in Ground Zero and train rides for the kids. Food concessions will include fried bread, roasted corn, funnel cakes, turkey legs, cowboy taters and more.
The area event began in the 1970s as a small arts and crafts bazaar on the downtown square in Portales and has grown to the arts and crafts extravaganza it is today, attracting vendors from all over the country. The festival coincides with the annual peanut harvest in Portales.
"All of the goods that are sold are supposed to be handmade, not the kind of stuff you can find at Wal-Mart. They are unique gifts," said Jeff Blake, student activities and organizations program coordinator at Eastern. "You could say the Peanut Festival kicks off the Christmas holiday shopping season."
Stacy Fickley, an our-of-town organizer for the arts and crafts show, said most of the vendors are coming from around New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and other parts of the Southwest. "There will be candles, pictures, woodwork. You name it, and it will probably be there. This includes salsa, dip mixes, crochet items, metal art and a lot more," she said. "There will also be people there who can their own food and sell it. They've got pickles, different kinds of pickled recipes, stuffed olives and much more."
For more information, call 505.562.2631.