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5:13 PM Tue, Nov. 13th

Festival draws large crowd

James Reid, a juggler from Phoenix, performs Saturday during the annual Prescott Valley Art fifth Festival at the Civic Center.

Courier/Jo. L. Keener

James Reid, a juggler from Phoenix, performs Saturday during the annual Prescott Valley Art fifth Festival at the Civic Center. Courier/Jo. L. Keener

PRESCOTT VALLEY ­ Veronica Aguilera danced and clapped her hands to the rhythm of a calypso band Saturday during the fifth annual World Arts Festival.

"I love this whole event because it is something for the whole family," said Aguilera, a banker who attended the festivities because the Tri-City Hispanic Chamber of Commerce manned a booth. She is on the chamber's board.

"I love the fudge," Aguilera said. "I'm going to buy some salsa, and I might buy my daughter a Halloween costume."

Aguilera, who lives in Prescott and works in Prescott Valley, added, "This is the best entertainment in the tri-city area (that I) have seen in a long time."

The event drew a larger crowd to the Prescott Valley Civic Center than in 2005, said Rex Ijams, arts and culture coordinator for the Town of Prescott Valley. The Parks and Recreation Department sponsors the event, which resumes today at 10 a.m. and concludes at 4 p.m.

Ijams estimated that 2,000 people attended the event as of noon Saturday, up about 500 people from 2005.

"We have more food vendors than we had last year," Ijams said. "We have more arts and crafters. Š We have a great lineup of music."

The festival apparently pleased Betsy Gravel, a physical therapy assistant from Prescott Valley who attended for the first time. She attended with family friend Ashley Corriea and a pug named Sami.

"We just heard about the event and wanted to come down to enjoy the food, events, music," Gravel said as she, Corriea and Sami roamed the grounds.

Event-goers took in music, puppetry, magic, a dog fashion show and other entertainment. They also visited vendors who sold Native American artwork, henna tattoos, salt crystal lamps and other merchandise.

Yaqui Indian craftsman Ted Arredondo manned a tent selling pelts, spears with obsidian points, a medicine bag made out of a turtle shell, war shields, talking sticks and other artwork. His wife, Lauren, dressed dogs for the fashion show.

"We have been making a living at it for the last five years," Ted Arredono said.