Fall and winter are splendid times of year in New Mexico. They include the aroma of roasted green chile, car rides through golden aspens, roasted corn at the State Fair, crisp mountain air, farolito walks, and of course, your fill of tamales on Christmas Eve. To enjoy these unique New Mexican traditions and more, consider bundling up and attending the following events:
Sept. 1-25, 2015 | 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. | Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm
Every Friday, fill up on fresh local produce from Rio Grande Valley-based organic farmers.
11th Annual Old Town Salsa Fiesta
Sept. 12, 2015 | 12 p.m. – 7 p.m. | Historic Old Town | Free ($5 to taste and vote in salsa contest)
Salsa in all its forms—music, dance, and of course, food—will be celebrated. Also, there will be a Best Homemade Salsa Contest, in which contestants prepare their salsa on the spot and attendees taste and vote for their favorite.
77th Annual New Mexico State Fair
Sept. 10-20, 2015 | 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Sun-Thur); 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. (Fri and Sat) | Expo New Mexico | $7-$10
Live music. Rodeos. Rides. Games. Petting zoos. Tons of great (fried) food. Bring the whole family for a day of fun.
Sept. 12-20, 2015 | Times vary | Locations vary | Prices vary
Participate in a weeklong series of mini-festivals and events recognizing the city’s best art, technology and culture. Umbrella Week is organized by a grassroots group of Burquenos working in art, tech and culture. Check the website for a complete schedule of events and locations.
Tech.Co’s Startup of the Year Competition & Mixer
Sept. 15, 2015 | 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. | Epicenter at InnovateABQ | Free
Tech Cocktail is touring the world hosting regional showcase events and online competitions. The tour provides resources and a community for startup companies. Learn about Albuquerque startups in an expo-networking format, schmooze with startup founders, tech thought-leaders, doers, and builders.
3rd Annual Indian Arts Festival
Oct. 4-5, 2015 | Indian Pueblo Cultural Center | $3-$6
Celebrate the enduring music, art, food and dance of the American Indian. On October 4, renowned musician Carlos Nakai will perform with William Eaton & Will Clipman.
Oct. 3-4, 2015 | 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. (Fri-Sat) | 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Sun) | St. George Greek Orthodox Church | $2-$5
Immerse yourself in Greece’s best food, dancing and music. Even take a free cooking or language class.
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
Oct. 3-11, 2015 | Times vary | Balloon Fiesta Park | $8 per session
Watch as hundreds of hot-air balloons fill the sky during the world’s largest ballooning event, and a beloved New Mexico tradition.
Nov. 7, 2015 | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Balloon Fiesta Park | $2-$7
Over 50 chefs, restaurants and food trucks will be offering unique bacon creations, and 12 local breweries will be supplying beverages. Live blues will play in the background and a family fun area will be available for the kiddos.
Nov. 28, 2015 – Jan. 2, 2016 | Tours begin at 5:45 p.m. | ABQ BioPark | $5-$10
Enjoy the magic of millions of twinkling lights and dazzling holiday displays at New Mexico’s largest walk-through light show.
Dec. 4, 2015 | 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. | Historic Old Town | Free
It’s Albuquerque’s favorite way to kick-off the holiday season. Score holiday specials at the shops throughout Old Town, have a photo-op with Santa, and behold the lighting of the Christmas tree.
10th Annual Gildan New Mexico Bowl
Dec. 19, 2015 | 12 p.m. | University Stadium | $25-$40
The 10th Annual Gildan New Mexico Bowl will kickoff on the FBS Bowl season opening at University Stadium. The game will also be broadcast nationally on ESPN and ESPN Radio.
50th Annual ABQ RIDE Luminaria Tour
Dec. 24, 2015 | Times vary | Albuquerque Convention Center (starting point) | $1.70-$3
Enjoy a New Mexican Christmas Eve tradition without worrying about driving, parking and traffic. ABQ RIDE will take you through neighborhoods filled with luminarias and Christmas lights in Old Town, the Albuquerque Country Club and other locales dressed for the holidays.
Historic Las Vegas Art Studio Tour
Sept. 12-13, 2015 | 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Sat) and 12 p.m. – 4 p.m. (Sun) | Gallery 140 | Free
This tour highlights the artistic talent of many northeastern New Mexico artists and artisans. The three-day tour will make multiple stops and feature a wide range of works (painting, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, fiber, photography, traditional Spanish art, street art, mixed media and more).
NM Highlands University Cowboys Homecoming Parade
Sept. 26, 2015 | 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Fifth St. & Friedman | Free
Celebrate the start of the football season and Highlands University by partaking in this parade.
Crop HUNGER Walk Las Vegas 2015
Oct. 24, 2015 | 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. | United World College Campus (Montezuma, NM) | Donation encouraged
Help eradicate hunger and poverty by walking either one or three miles through the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains on the banks of the Gallinas River. The walk begins with an opening celebration that includes an address from Las Vegas Mayor Alfonso Ortiz. Volunteers provide walkers with water and granola bars along the trail.
Dec. 5, 2015 | Dusk | 1700 Grande Ave. | Free
Holiday cheer is electrified in a stunning parade of floats and cars adorned with Christmas lights. A contest will be held for the best float.
Sept. 26, 2015 | 10 a.m. | Esther Bone Memorial Library | Free
Anyone age 8 and above can register to work with a professional artist from the Rio Rancho Art Association. All materials will be provided.
Sept. 26-27, 2015 | Corrales Main Street (Corrales, NM) | $3-$5
The Harvest Festival is a weekend full of activities organized by the Kiwanis Club of Corrales. The event includes tractor rides, food tents, petting zoos, wine tasting (adults only), dancing and more. All proceeds from the event are re-invested into community-based programs for children.
Sept. 11-13, 2015 | Locations vary | Cost varies by event
Fiesta de Santa Fe is a celebration of New Mexico’s history, culture and thanksgiving. “Fiestas,” as the event is commonly called, pay homage to the peaceful reoccupation of Santa Fe in 1692, and the return of the prized La Conquistadora, a sacred Marion statue that was rescued from a burning church during the Pueblo Revolt of August 10, 1680. The leader of the reoccupation, General Don Diego De Vargas, credited La Conquistadora with his successful reclaiming of New Mexico and promised to host an annual festival in her honor. Fiestas include an honorary procession, fine art markets, parades, live music, the burning of Zozobra and a closing candlelight pilgrimage to the Cross of the Martyrs.
Sept. 19-20, 2015 | 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. | El Rancho de Las Golondrinas | $8-$10
The Santa Fe Renaissance Fair is a yearly event of music, magic and merriment. Sword fighting, barrels of mead, beautiful costumes, live music and performances will abound.
After Hours Alliance Festival of Progressive Arts
Sept. 18-20, 2015 | Times vary | Second Street / Siler Road / The Railyard | Free
The After Hours Alliance was founded in 2010 to identify creative ways to stimulate nightlife in Santa Fe. The Festival of Progressive Arts will feature live music, visual arts and pop-up performances.
Sept. 24-27, 2015 | Times and locations vary| Prices vary
Sample wines from the best wineries in the country, and culinary creations made by New Mexico’s premier chefs. 90 national wineries and 75 of Santa Fe’s best restaurants will be participating, so come hungry and thirsty!
Sept. 25-27, 2015 | Begins at 1 p.m. on Sept. 25 | The Club at Las Campanas | $50 General Admission
Car lovers, this event is for you. The 2015 Santa Fe Concorso is a gathering of more than 110 rare and exotic cars and motorcycles, and features a three-day celebration of everything automotive. This means car shows, seminars, competitions and a tour around Santa Fe for entrants.
Oct. 3-4, 2015 | 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. | El Rancho de Las Golondrinas | $6-$8
Bring in the harvest with villagers as they crush grapes for wine by foot, string chile ristras, make tortillas, bake fresh bread and much more.
2015 Santa Fe Independent Film Festival
Oct. 14-18, 2015 | Various locations in Santa Fe | $10-$15 per film | $6 educational events
The Santa Fe Independent Film Festival is a highly talked-about indie film festival right here in our state’s capital. Screen some of best indie films, set both in and outside New Mexico.
8th Annual Historic Canyon Road Paint & Sculpt Out
Oct. 17, 2015 | Canyon Road | Free
Hundreds of artists and art lovers congregate for outdoor artist demonstrations. The artists bring live models, paint, clay, carving knives, blowtorches, easels and materials from their studios and work right on Canyon road, meanwhile the public can interact with the artists as they work.
Dec. 13, 2015 | 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m | Santa Fe Plaza | Free
The annual candle-lit procession of Las Posadas travels around the Santa Fe Plaza and concludes in the Palace Courtyard. This version of an old Hispanic tradition recreates Mary and Joseph’s search for a place to give birth to the Baby Jesus. Stay for carols, cookies and refreshments in the Palace Courtyard.
Dec. 24, 2015 | Starts around dusk | Canyon Road | Free
Small, sand-filled, paper bags illuminated with votive candles line the historic neighborhood streets and adobe walls.