Above: A weaver at the International Folk Art Market. Photograph courtesy of the International Folk Art Market.

My first time visiting the International Folk Art Market, in Santa Fe, I was one part giddy, two parts dazed. With 150 artists representing 60 countries at this bustling marketplace on Museum Hill, it’s hard not to feel awed and overwhelmed at the same time: textiles dyed with natural plant fibers from Oaxaca, rugs made of plastic bags from Morocco, spectacle frames embellished with bright beads from South Africa—the offerings are vast and the venue is labyrinthine.

A good strategy for taking in the whole scene? Plan to spend Saturday or Sunday afternoon—or the whole day—at the market. Translators are nearby when necessary. Live music from global bands provide the soundtrack, cuisine from the Food Bazaar will keep you properly fueled, and a whole gang of cashiers will be on standby when you’re ready to check out. Basically, it’s one of those uniquely Santa Fe experiences you should have at least once in your life, if not many times over.

Special events lead up to the official Friday-night kickoff of the market. For a calendar, ticket prices, and info on transportation for the July 12–14 event, visit the website.

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International Folk Art Market
620 Cerrillos Road
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505