Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Show draws big crowd

Posted at: 11/23/2012 4:46 PM
Updated at: 11/23/2012 6:19 PM
By: Stuart Dyson, KOB Eyewitnes News 4

There were Black Friday deals - and big crowds - at the State Fairgrounds Friday for the Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival Holiday Show.

Maybe the Manuel Lujan Exhibit Hall at the Fairgrounds is a big box, so call it a big box event if you want to. But the Holiday Show is a real alternative to the mass-produced effluvia you find in the big box stores. It's original work by 200 jury-picked artists, and you're not going to find that at Best Buy or Target.
"I think the handmade helps a lot, and also just the kinds of different things you find here," said Cory Hennek, shopping with his wife Amy. "It doesn't look like you just ran out to the store and bought something at the last minute."
"You can get some fun secret Santa stuff," Amy said. "You can find inexpensive stuff. You can find a wide range of stuff."
Michael Thompson is an Illinois artist who works with glass. It's his first show here.
"I really thought we'd get a really good response," Thmpson said. "Our designs, our color - I thought they'd go over really well and so far we've had a good response."
It's the 13th year for the Holiday Show, with many more planned for the years ahead.
"What we're trying to do is create an alternative to the traditional Black Friday shopping frenzy at the malls," said Festival director Ruth Gore. "This is something that a lot of people bring their family and friends out here. There's something for everybody to do."
It's not just art. There's food, musical performances and face-painting for the children. The event continues Saturday and Sunday. Doors open at 10:00 a.m.