According to Sue Anderson, the Prickly Pear Festival’s director, this year’s festival is the best attended yet. She said that she knew it was going to be big when she checked on the foraging event at the airport at 7 a.m. and saw all the cars there, where a crowd turned out to learn how to harvest the pads and fruits.
Leslie Ireland, the Vendor coordinator estimated that more than 1200 people had visited the main venue in Superior’s town hall by 1 p.m. Visitors crowded into the six vendor rooms to visit the 48 vendors of art and sustainable products, and into the Cactus Lounge for alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. The area nearest the stage was isolated from the main lounge to allow patrons and kids to enjoy the entertainment without being in the bar.
In a nearby building, in the Cactus art gallery, several local artists showed their wares. Patty Sjolin, painter of the pots that enliven an otherwise drab stretch of U.S. 60, in Miami showed her signature paintings on corrigated metal panels showing cactus flowers and of course prickly pears.
The action was not limited to city hall. Almost all the parking spaces were filled in downtown Superior. Food and other vendors set up shop in front of the Save Money Market including Superior’s self-styled Apron Lady, Edna Walkinshaw who posed before her liquid soap covers and vendors selling acorns and prickly Pear flavored popcorn.
Super Hero Stuff, the area’s only Comic book and pop culture store benefited from the crowds strolling Main Street, as did the art galleries and antique stores.
According to the front desk staff, the Hotel Magma was almost filled with out-ot-town visitors. Superior looked almost like its heyday thanks to the humble prickly pear.