Though Santa Fe de Nuevo México became a territory of the United States in 1850, six decades passed before it was finally anointed 47th state. Despite ongoing union-joining efforts on the part of the citizenry, the lapse was due to federal government reluctance—the inhabitants here were seen as uncivilized and just not quite Anglo enough—but in 1912 the state was judged adequately assimilated. This January, New Mexico observed its statehood centennial, and fiestas will continue throughout the year.
One of the biggest will be effervescing in Downtown Albuquerque this weekend. Eight centers of activity that represent the state’s heritage will be damning cultural homogeneity throughout the city’s urban core beginning at noon. Along Route 66, these consist of a Hispanic Heritage Pavilion at Third Street; a World Pavilion at Fourth Street; the Native American Pavilion at Fifth Street; the Rock and Rockabilly Pavilion at Sixth Street; the Office of African-American Affairs Juneteenth Pavilion at Seventh Street; and a Territorial Village including a Storytelling Tent at Robinson Park (between Eighth and 10th Streets). In the evening, the main stage at Harry E. Kinney Civic Plaza (Third Street between Tijeras and Marquette) comes to life with a capstone performance by Grammy-winning East Los Angeles Chicano rock band Los Lobos from 8 to 9:30 p.m.
Expositions and sundries will also be present in the form of science and technology displays and demos, an art market, a Youthfest, a classic car show, and a full day of free cartoon movies at the KiMo Theatre. Food vendors are expected to show up en masse as well, so wear your tostada-compuesta-eating pants. All the entertainment is free, and turnouts are anticipated to be sizable. Summerfesters are encouraged to leave their cars out of Downtown and take public transportation (please don’t park in front of my house). For more information, and to download an official event program, visit abqsummerfest.com.