The Santa Fe Plaza is beautiful any time of year, but it’s especially gorgeous right now, at the height of summer, with the trees providing a green canopy of leaves overhead and each lamppost sporting overflowing baskets of flowers.
There’s no better place to spend a relaxing Saturday afternoon, and if you play your cards right and plan accordingly, you can also squeeze in a little shopping from booths set up on the Plaza by artists and gift vendors.
Indian Market, August 18 and 19, 2012, and Spanish Market, July 27 – 29, 2012 can always be counted on to be amazing, and Spanish Market is definitely the biggest draw of the season. Running a close second is the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market on July 14 and 15, 2012. Although it’s not held on the Plaza, it’s a great reason to visit Santa Fe. It showcases more than 180 master artists from 56 countries and is the largest show of its kind in the world. In its 9th year, the Market offers an unparalleled chance to collect treasures from around the globe and meet the artists who created them.
But if you’ve ever attended any of these three shows, you know the crowds can be overwhelming at times. And given their popularity, it’s almost impossible to get a place to stay (or park for that matter) on those weekends.
Here’s our suggestion: Try a totally different summer arts and crafts show this year. Plan your Santa Fe weekend for the same time as the Girls, Inc. show, or for Fiesta de Santa Fe. Even though the size and scope of these shows doesn’t match that of Spanish Market, the diversity of arts and crafts sold will make your mouth water. They are their own great excuse to spend the weekend in town.
And if you’re looking forward to 2013, there’s always the Challenge New Mexico Show, which was held last weekend. Wendy and I spent some time there, her strolling and shopping a bit, me selling some jewelry with a friend from Albuquerque. I also shopped and strolled during quiet times in the booth. The Challenge Show is traditionally held on Father’s Day weekend, so mark your calendar for next year. And while you’re at it, mark your calendar for one of these upcoming events:
July 14 and 15, 2012 is Santa Fe International Folk Art Market. Then there will be Spanish Market on July 28 and 29. If these intrigue you, by all means put them on your calendar. They probably deserve a blog post all their own. Just expect a huge crowd and a little more harried pace to the city.
For more local flavor, one of our personal favorites is the 40th Annual Girls Inc. Arts and Crafts Show, a juried show coming up on August 4 and 5. Girls Inc. is the third largest market on the Plaza every year, featuring the work of over 200 national and local professional artists. Proceeds from artists’ booth fees benefit Girls Inc. of Santa Fe, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold, a mission statement that totally gets our vote! This show is fun, and the cause is very worthy.
After Girls Inc. is Indian Market on August 18 and 19, 2012. And then finally, wrapping up the summer season are the Labor Day Fine Arts and Crafts Market on Saturday, September 1 to Monday September 3 from 9:00 to 5:00, and the following weekend, the Fiesta Arts and Crafts on the Plaza, Friday Sept 7 to Sunday Sept 9. The Fiesta de Santa Fe show is especially fun because you not only get the shopping and strolling, you get the fun of Fiesta – the burning of Zozobra and all the pageantry associated with this event that is quintessential Santa Fe.
There are several things you can count on from all of these shows – incredible artistry and creativity, friendly folks, the beauty that is Santa Fe in summer, and the food. Did I mention the food? Each show invites its own food vendors and part of the pleasure of attending a Santa Fe Arts & Crafts Show is trying something from each and every food booth.
Summer in Santa Fe is magical. Consider planning a weekend visit around of the of the above shows, and if you need a place to stay, give Wendy at Two Casitas a call. She’d love to help you find someplace special to stay and to store all that artwork you’re going to find during your visit!