FOLK3 Santa Fe: Coming to you live. . . closing

Many older folks are there, including hundred of them who are volunteers in the unremitting heat. The real heroes of this thing.

The International Folk Art Festival is a grouping of juried artists and artisans, who come from all over the world with their products. They may not speak English, they may not dress quite the same. But they come with a wonderful pride for their work and their country. I guess the mindset is by people who believe in things like the United Nations, where countries can come together and still be civil.

For two days people come. It is not a free event, you pay to come in. They come to buy, they also come out of curiosity to see. There are people who come and probably buy nothing more than a soda. It was hot, but plenty of water and free umbrellas were passed out by volunteers. Wonderful volunteers in their violet shirts are found all over working in the full sun, at the height of the day. Someone had a heart attack at one point and buses back into the main part of Santa Fe were suspended to let the ambulance in. Volunteers were preemptive with bus lines go back. No one got crazy.

The International artists are all over. They keep busy selling, answering questions, demonstrating and posing for pictures. They are often seen walking around during breaks, going to and from areas, sometimes visiting other vendors. But as it does each year, it must come to a close. Many business cards are exchanged and not all the artists leave without boxes of work. But they take money home, on an estimate $17,000 per artist to reinvest in their work, or to help their local people prosper. This amount can create a momentary boom in a third, or fourth, world country.

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