Ticket feature: Peanuts, crafts highlight of Peanut Festival

File photo Rabiah Memon, left, with International Students creates a henna tattoo for Jessica Martinez, a senior at ENMU from Hobbs during the festival last year.

Freedom New Mexico

Peanuts and crafts will take over Eastern New Mexico University’s Campus Union Ballroom Saturday and Sunday at the 36th annual Peanut Valley Festival.

The event, sponsored by the university, is 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Caitlin Medlicott, festival coordinator, said the event includes crafts, food and games for the whole family. Medlicott said staff screens vendors to make sure they bring in hand-made or originally designed material.

“The event is a showcase of local and neighboring talents and it’s an opportunity for the people of Portales to experience it. We’re bringing a little more culture into Portales,” she said.

Medlicott said about 65 vendors are signed up for the fair. She said the number is down from last year.

“It might be the economy, might be trepidation about participating in a craft fair. But some people come back every year because it is always successful for them,” she said.

Saturday features a pumpkin trade — anyone attending the festival can trade donations of money or canned food for pumpkins. The canned food drive will benefit the New Mexico Food Bank Association.

“It’s a fun way to throw in a community service project. We always want vendors and attendees to enjoy it and just have a good time. We want people to walk away happy,” Medlicott said.

Medlicott said Portales is a welcoming town and the event is intended to be community-oriented.

“That’s the atmosphere we want the peanut festival to foster,” she said.