Friday, February 7, 2014

Carefree, Arizona Indian Market and Cultural Festival

Who could resist an Indian Market and Cultural Festival in a town called Carefree. Not us.

Carefree is a small down just north of Scottsdale, AZ. As we started up the road to Carefree we noticed that the desert vegetation was much different than around Apache Junction. Greener with more trees:
The area also appeared to be very affluent. One clue was that the pavilion in the local park (actually a 4 acre botanical garden featuring many varieties of cactus) was sponsored by the local Lincoln dealer.  As was the festival. Not many small towns have a Lincoln dealer. 
When we arrived a world champion hoop dancer was preforming:
Spectacular dancers and spectacular handcrafted costumes:
This little one was a beginner dancer - she looked pretty expert to me:
We had a wonderful time admiring the art for sale - especially the jewellery. I hoped to purchase a piece but all that I liked were way beyond my budget. One turquoise necklace I admired was $12,000! The artist said he would definitely sell it before the festival was over. No pictures were allowed so I cannot show you any of the beautiful creations.

We also spent some time wandering around the town of Carefree.
Who could resist checking out Lucky Lane and Easy Street. However, as frequently happens, things were not always as they seem. Part way down Lucky Lane we came to the Spanish Village:
Looked like a neat little shopping area but once inside the arches it was totally empty:
It appears that even America's wealthiest towns are still recovering from the 2008 recession.

Then, as we drove north from the town we stumbled on the Mirabel Golf and Country Club. Ah Ha - here is the source of a lot of the town's wealth:
The entrance cactus garden
It was, of course, a gated community but after chatting to the gate guard for a few minutes he let us in to see the golf club. He also told us that no home in here was worth less than one million dollars.
drive into the golf club
I couldn't get a good picture of the golf club but here are a couple of the homes we passed by:

Truly beautiful homes designed to blend into the desert environment. As we drove around Carefree and area we discovered many spectacular homes built to blend in. You really had to look to see some of them.

We spent the remainder of the day driving through the mountains around Scottsdale and enjoyed the usual, spectacular desert subset on the way home:
To enlarge the pictures simply left click on them
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