Monday, October 13, 2014

Patagonia celebrates fall with arts fair

Christmas decorations made from gourds
If you’re in southeastern Arizona in October, a must-see is the Patagonia Fall Festival. It’s billed as one of the best small town festivals in Arizona. If you’re into arts and crafts it’s worth the 60-mile drive from Tucson. The festival this year was the second weekend in October.

The festival draws about 150 arts and crafts, and food vendors to its city park. The park is so crammed with booths and people, sometimes it’s difficult to get through. But try.

As might be expected the artists and craftsmen are selling wares that reflect the desert southwest. This can include cactus made from sheet metal; picture frames made from cholla cactus, which is very wood-like, and Christmas ornaments made from dried gourds and then hand painted. Across the way, a woman is selling relishes made from various peppers, while another stand is selling garlic products.

Meanwhile, at  a bandstand in the middle of the park, bands provide a variety of musical entertainment, mostly playing Western and Mexican tunes. At least one band had people dancing in the aisles.

Driving to Patagonia
 The drive to Patagonia and then on to Nogales at the border with Mexico is considered one of the more scenic ones in the state. To get to Patagonia from Tucson, head east on I-10 and get off at exit 281, Highway 83. Stay on this road until you get to Sonita, then take a right on Highway 82, that continues into Nogales.

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