ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The third-annual Prickly Pear Festival kicked off in Albuquerque on Saturday. The festival is back after the pandemic forced the event to go virtual last year.

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It’s all about highlighting the prickly pear and features a number of cooking and beverage demonstrations. There was also live music with local bands. People were asked to wear a mask and those that could show proof of vaccination received a free raffle ticket for prizes.

One of the organizers hopes the festival introduces more people to the prickly pear, which is native to the southwest. “It’s not something you regularly find in the supermarket or something like that. So, we wanted to create more of a market and create a space to show people how to use it, how to eat it, and how to cook it,” said organizer Will Tomson.

There will be a second day of the event featuring farmers and ranchers showing people how to grow prickly pear for themselves. That will run on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.