By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer
Laughter, and the smell of Navajo tacos and frying potatoes, filled the air during the annual Peanut Valley Festival being held on the Eastern New Mexico University campus.
On the front lawn, students from Mesalands Community College’s farrier science program and blacksmith team were hard at work forging and crafting items from horseshoes and steel.
“We promote the college and farrier science program,” said instructor Eddy Mardis, on the group’s participation on the festival.
Moving to the inside of the Campus Union Building a variety of products were being sold by vendors. Items included candles, jewelry, food products, furniture and clothing.
Becky Hocksbergen was strolling through the booths and looking at the various products offered. She said she enjoys visiting the annual festival to see what vendors have to offer.
Each year offers something new to see and at times, Hocksbergen does purchase items from the festival for Christmas, she said.
“I love coming to these things. I look forward to it every year,” Hocksbergen said.
Upstairs in the ballroom, Hiram (Mo) Perry was selling carvings and jewelry handmade from buffalo bones, hide and horns. A fourth-generation carver, Perry has taken the business over from his uncle, who retired, he said.
“We try to incorporate buffalo bones because that’s our family trait,” Perry said.
For the past two years, Perry has been busy learning the art and craft of carving. After taking a college course, Perry began to study his heritage and found the Indian side of his family. Today he is also teaching a niece the family trade, ensuring that the trade will continue into the next generation, he said.
“I love it, I didn’t know that I had it in me,” Perry said.
Genaro Soto, along with his wife and grandson, traveled from Clovis to take in the sights and sounds of the festival. This will be the first year for the couple’s grandson, Peyton, to attend the festival, Soto said.
“My wife likes the arts and crafts and I like the food,” Soto said of the festival.