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Franciscan Arts Festival returns to Holy Cross Retreat Labor Day weekend


After taking a year off because of Covid, the Franciscan Festival of Fine Arts returns Labor Day weekend – Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 4-5 – at Holy Cross Retreat, 600 Holy Cross Road in Mesilla Park.

There is no charge to attend the festival, but donations will be accepted, said Holy Cross Retreat Center Director Father Tom Smith.

Festival hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 4, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 5.

Smith said this year’s festival will include 80 to 90 vendors selling fine arts, including handmade and unique jewelry, glasswork, metal work, paintings and drawings, pottery, textiles, bead work and wood carving.

“All the pieces are individually made,” he said.

There also will be live music both days, featuring a variety of local performers; a beer and wine garden with beer supplied by Spotted Dog Brewery and wine from Mesa Vista Winery; food vendors, along with enchiladas for sale in the retreat center kitchen; and a raffle and a silent auction that will include items donated by participating artists.

New this year will be a motorcycle blessing at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 5, with Smith performing the blessing in the retreat’s chapel parking lot.

All proceeds from the festival will benefit Holy Cross outreach programs, including helping people staying in Las Cruces to receive medical treatment and others in transitional living circumstances, Smith said.

Festival attendance is expected to be 4,000 to 5,000 people, he said.

Parking will be in the shade of the center’s pecan orchard.

“We welcome people back,” Smith said.

The deadline for vendor applications is Aug. 15, but they likely will be accepted up to the day before the festival, Smith said.

Holy Cross Retreat Center was built by Mr. and Mrs. Frank Monaghan in 1913 with 14 rooms and a central patio. It was purchased by the Ordo Fratrum Minorum (The Order of Friars Minor, or OFM)

Franciscan Friars of the Province of St. Barbara in Oakland, California in 1954. The first retreat at the site was held in 1957. The Franciscan Festival of Fine Arts was revived after several years in September 2004.

To reach Holy Cross Retreat Center, take south Main Street south of Las Cruces and turn left on Holy Cross Road, about three miles south of the intersection of Main Street and University Avenue. For Goggle maps, enter the address 4889 South Main St., which will take you to the gates of the retreat center.

Contact Holy Cross Retreat Center at 575-524-3688.

Visit holycrossretreat.org.

Franciscan Festival of Fine Arts