Spring blooms at annual poppies festival

Catherine Ramirez, Entertainment Editor

The El Paso Museum of Archaeology partnered with the National Border Patrol Museum and the Downtown Artist and Farmers Market to host the 13th Annual Poppies Festival March 23, at the El Paso Museum of Archaeology on Transmountain Road.

The event was free to the public and included live performances from Noah The Creature, Jewells of the Desert, Tigua Youth Dancers and several others. The festival included admission to the El Paso Museum of Archaeology and the National Border Patrol Museum to explore the exhibits.

“We support the museum, we’re sort of partners with them. We help put the Poppies Festival together every year,” said Fernando Arias, president of the El Paso Archaeology Society, who hosted a booth during the fest.

The El Paso Archaeology Society has assisted in hosting the festival since its inception in 2006 to support anthropology and archeology education in the area.

“They support us and we support them,” Arias said. “It’s a whole lot of fun, especially meeting new people every year.”

More than 50 food and art vendors from the Downtown Artists and Farmers Market set up shop for poppies fest goers. Among the vendors at the festival was a Poppies Festival first timer, jewelry craftsman Marcela Vargas.

“We are part of the farmers market and they invited us come participate here, and we were happy to,” Vargas said. “All our jewelry is handmade. Trends inspire us and we love fashion, colors and all sorts of textures that really inspire our work.”

Poppy season in the borderland is late January to early April, and according to Texas Highways Magazine, this year’s bloom of poppies has been considered the best within the past three years. During the festival, guests could take a walk on a nature trail to take a peek at the yellow and orange poppies.

The festival included a booth that allowed guests to get their own poppy seeds to grow at home and keep the flowers blooming throughout the region.