Scottsdale Street Fair

I love the way exploring arts and culture always leads from one remarkable path to another. Thursday I attended the “Visions of Arizona” reception at the Arizona Capitol, where an artist told me about the Arizona Art Alliance Gallery in Scottsdale.

While checking out their website, I learned of a new Scottsdale Street Fair being held Sundays at The Pavilions at Talking Stick. I hit the gallery on Saturday, and the fair on Sunday — where I met more artists who’ll no doubt lead me to more art adventures.

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I took my son Christopher along, and the first folks we encountered were sharing news of an upcoming performance by Shen Yun Performing Arts of China at ASU Gammage in Tempe. I’ve had China on the brain of late — thanks to a documentary titled “A Boy in China” starring Andre Magnum of Phoenix.

Next we stumbled on the Jan’s Pies booth filled with homemade cheesecake slices, fresh fruit turnovers, miniature loaves of bread and more. I noticed a harmonica laying off to one side of a table and asked about it, launching a wonderful conversation with the man working the booth about his daughter’s love of all things music and Elmo.

I made sure he knew about the “Being Elmo” film and the Valley’s own Musical Instrument Museum (complete with hands-on “experience gallery” where kids love trying all sorts of exotic instruments) before moving on.

We chatted with a woman who creates copper works of art that look like they’d be lovely in both commercial and residential settings, and spoke to several people offering foodie fare — fresh produce, dried beans, flavored pasta, unusual spices. Then we went in search of street fair staples like Indian Fry Bread and fresh-squeezed lemonade. Next time we’ll try the pulled pork and Italian ice.

I was delighted to find several fun options for busy bodies — including a great assortment of bounce houses, a trio of giant balls allowing kids to make like hamsters and a tall climbing wall. Also face painting (featuring exquisite colors and designs) and other kid-friendly fare.

Several booths featured clothing, handbags, jewelry and such — and there was even live entertainment. A singer/songwriter was doing her thing when we arrived, but dancers dressed in costumes akin to those of Arabian dancers in “The Nutcracker” were taking the the stage as we left.

I suspect the Scottsdale Street Fair will grow as more vendors and visitors learn of its existence. You can check it out from 10am-4pm every Sunday at The Pavilions at Talking Stick through May 2012. To learn more, visit them online at www.scottsdalestreetfair.com.

— Lynn

Coming up: All thumbs, A revolution in Scottsdale?

Photos: Lynn Trimble

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