Albuquerque's popular Summerfest events return in June with five exciting events that cover the City's broad geographic area, offering easy access to everyone across the city. An Albuquerque tradition for more than 30 years, Summerfest delivers free, quality entertainment in a family-friendly atmosphere, while becoming the can't-miss parties in our community.
"The City of Albuquerque is in the business of creating great family events for the whole community," said Mayor Richard J. Berry. "Looks like we have another exciting summer filled with a great line up of music for families and neighbors to enjoy."
The 2016 season opens on Saturday, June 11 with Heights Summerfest at the North Domingo Baca Park located on Wyoming and Carmel, just North of Paseo del Norte. Live music, food and drink, the Artisan Market filled with custom-crafted items, special games and fun for the youngsters, and more, will keep everyone entertained.
Headlining this year's Heights Summerfest is Rusted Root, a band from Pittsburgh known for their fusion of acoustic rock and other styles featuring strong percussion that draws from African, Latin and Native American influences. Rusted Root rocked to fame in 1994 with its platinum-selling album When I Woke, featuring the hit single, "Send Me On My Way," a song featured prominently in many films and commercials. The band has sold more than three million albums worldwide.
Freedom 4th at Balloon Fiesta Park will feature headliner Lonestar, four "good old boys" from Texas who have never lost touch with their roots. Since 1995, Lonestar has sold more than ten million albums and achieved ten #1 country hits, including crossover smash hit "Amazed," which was the first record since 1989's "Islands in the Stream" to top both the Billboard and country charts. Known for merging their country roots with strong melodies and rich vocals, Lonestar received a huge welcome on their European tour with Reba McEntire, Ricky Skaggs, and Little Big Town, garnering major attention and building fans across the pond.
Saturday, July 16 is the date for the giant Route 66 Summerfest that fills Nob Hill on Central Avenue from Girard Blvd. to Washington Blvd. Headlining this street festival's entertainment is four-time Grammy®-winner, Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, and Musician Hall of Fame inductee, Booker T Presents: A Stax Revue and a Journey Thru Soul, Blues, and R&B. With 2016 being the 90th anniversary of The Mother Road, we can expect visitors from across America joining in the festivities as they travel through Albuquerque.
The fun continues as Downtown Summerfest comes to Civic Plaza on Saturday, August 6 with an event that features everything fans expect and more. Music will fill the Plaza throughout the event, with headliner The Wailers taking the stage to close out the event, bringing their own brand of reggae honed by years of performing worldwide. Carrying Jamaica's reggae tradition forward, the band has played to an estimated 24 million people across the globe and, together with Bob Marley, has sold in excess of 250 million albums worldwide.
The last, but definitely not the least, Westside Summerfest is set for Saturday, August 20 on Ellison Dr. between Alameda Blvd. and Cottonwood Dr. in Cottonwood Corners. Filled with activities that make Summerfest one of the most popular events in Albuquerque, Westside Summerfest will host rock band Big Head Todd & the Monsters. With a great deal of success under their belt, including their 1993 Sister Sweetly album that went platinum, the group wrote the single "Blue Sky" at the request of crew members of the Space Shuttle Discovery, the first shuttle to launch after the Columbia disaster.
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As New Mexico celebrates 100 years of being one of those 50 stars on the blue upright, the city is planning the largest party ever held in Albuquerque: Centennial Summerfest is from noon to 9:30 p.m. on a closed-off stretch of Central between Second and 10th Streets. Multiple pavilions (including an authentically constructed 19th century Territorial Village) representing the eras of New Mexico's history will offer musical entertainment and dancing. Plenty of food, vintage car shows and an arts market reflect the modern. Centennial Summerfest draws to a close at 8 p.m. with a headlining performance by Los Lobos at Civic Plaza. All events are free to the public. For an extensive schedule of events, visit abqsummerfest.com.
Make like the Griswolds and head down to the Mother Road this weekend for Route 66 Days and Nights. Beginning Friday evening and running through Saturday night, catch car shows, live music, sidewalk sales, artisan markets, food, a 5K run and more, all free and for the family. The action takes place on Central between Girard and Washington with traffic closed all day Saturday, coinciding with Albuquerque Summerfest and the New Mexico Jazz Festival. For a complete schedule of events, visit rt66central.com.