TUCSON, Ariz. — A 50-year-old tradition is bringing thousands of people to downtown this weekend. Tents and booths line 4th Avenue for its annual street fair. However, in slight opposition to the street fair, one woman puts on an event every year called "Fourth Schmourth" to, what she said, better support local artists.
"There's just something about buying local," said Alaina Chapin, the founder of "Fourth Schmourth."
Chapin started the group "Fourth Schmourth" four years ago.
She says she created an annual event to celebrate and support local artists -- because they don't receive enough recognition. That's why she would like the 4th Avenue street fair, "To make it more inclusive of the actual local artist community, because we have fantastic artist in this community that are just as talented, just as sought after as the other more usual people that they have year after year after year," said Chapin.
The street fair said this year they are proud to have 40-percent of their vendors come from Tucson and around Arizona.
"We also have a program were we invite fledgling artists, or artists that haven't had access to a street fair of this size to participate at a reduced cost," said Fred Ronstadt, the executive director of Historic 4th Avenue events.
A 10-by-10 artist booth is $665 for the three days. The emerging artist booth is $445, split between two artists sharing one booth. But even with a discount for newer artists, "The cost in participating sometimes isn't worth the return that they see on that investment. I think that its important for the public to know, that in addition to the street fair twice a year, they can find local artist just as good, any time of year," said Chapin.
"We want to encourage our community to really embrace our local artists," said Ronstadt.
This is only the second year for the emerging artists program. The street fair continues through Sunday.