Summer Guide 2018

Hit The Road Or Stay At Home, It’s All Fun In The Sun

24 min read
Riverfest, Farmington on May 25
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Despite the wind in the air and the lingering snowline on our state’s northern border, spring is in full bloom and summer is fast approaching (June 21 in the Northern Hemisphere). So now is the time to start planning out all that summer fun you’ll be having this year. As us locals know, New Mexico is a seasonal wonderland—whether you stick to the warming concrete environs of Albuquerque or head out into our neighboring counties in search of shade and greenery. To assist you in choosing your summer destinations, Alibi staff members have assembled a calendar of diverse events—festivals, concerts, conventions, art tours, fishing tournaments and more—from all over the state. Go out and enjoy! Get a tan! See the sights! We’ll just be here putting together a newspaper every week.

Summer Guide 2018 May 11

Hot Springs Festival, Truth or Consequences

Wading in to any of the many hot springs in Truth or Consequences feels like therapy, and the lovably eccentric town is turning up the heat on their chill vibes with the Hot Springs Festival. The weekend-long event boasts live music, wellness workshops and sustainability instruction. The positive energy starts emanating at various locations throughout the city on Friday, May 11 and is capped the afternoon of Sunday, May 13. The hot springs and the low-key magic of T or C, however, are relaxing visitors all summer long. A full schedule of festival events is online. (

Summer Guide 2018 May 12

City of Rocks Star Party, Faywood

The incredible rock formations that comprise the “city” of this state park were formed 34.9 million years ago. This summer, the park invites visitors to follow the trail of something else ancient by looking to the stars. City of Rocks (located near Faywood Hot Springs) is the first of our state’s parks to construct its own observatory, and on May 12, they make good use of their 14” Mead telescope during a Star Party. The event kicks off after dark (approximately 9:10pm) and offers visitors a laser-guided tour of the night sky—including access to the telescope to get up-close-and-personal with the cosmos.

Summer Guide 2018 May 15

Blessing of the Fields, Las Cruces

The traditional feast day of San Ysidro, the Catholic patron saint of farmers, is celebrated with music, a procession and piñata-making at the New Mexico Farm & Rancho Museum for the Blessing of the Fields. This long-standing tradition happens anew the morning of Tuesday, May 15 (10am) and kicks off the museum’s week-long celebration commemorating their 20th anniversary. Joining the celebration is totally free. (

Summer Guide 2018 May 18

New Mexico Fiber Crawl, Taos

New Mexico has a long history of hand crafts and working with textiles. That legacy is illustrated in fresh, new ways at the New Mexico Fiber Crawl. Throughout the weekend—that is, Friday, May 18 to Sunday, May 20—interested parties can tour farms, artists and galleries that develop fiber arts. The event spans across Taos, Española, Los Alamos and more, but begins at the Martinez Hacienda in Taos. The unique tour is just $8 to join. (

Kayak Fishing Tour, Elephant Butte

Elephant Butte Lake State Park hosts an event on May 18 to May 20 that combines two well-loved outdoorsy things—kayaking and fishing. The Kayak Fishing Tournament is for serious enthusiasts (hence the $65 fee for entering) but is, in fact, open to captains of any motorless water craft. Prizes reach as much as $4,000 (and all winners get sunglasses!). Want to know more or get your entry form? Get in touch with hosts Zia Kayak Outfitters online. (

Summer Guide 2018 May 19

12th Annual CrawDaddy Blues Fest, Madrid

The Mine Shaft Tavern brings fresh live crawfish and three stages of blues music to the Madrid Railyard on Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20. The crawdads come straight from Beaumont, Texas, and the stages feature a bevy of talent both local and from farther afield, including Hillary Smith, Felix Y Los Gatos and Harlis Sweetwater Band. Tickets for each full day of tunes and treats are $25. Tickets are available at

Summer Guide 2018 May 25

Riverfest, Farmington on May 25
Riverfest, Farmington

For over 30 years thousands of people gather over memorial day weekend to attend this celebration of Farmington’s rivers, trails and parks. This year’s Riverfest takes place from Friday, May 25 to Sunday, May 27. Live music, river rafting, car shows, tractor rides, a beer and wine garden, a fine arts show and so many more activities happen over this fun-filled weekend. Don’t miss the infamous wiener dog races and the chance to win $2,000 in the ever-popular rubber duck race. To see a full schedule of events, visit their website. (

Summer Guide 2018 May 26

Sugarite Canyon Fishing Tournament, Raton

Starting on May 26 is the annual fishing tournament at Sugarite Canyon State Park. This nine-day tournament takes place on Lake Maloya. Entry fee is $10 per person with door prizes handed out daily. Catch a tagged fish for a chance to win $1,000, or get a shot at winning a boat for just entering the tournament. There’s also a free kids’ derby on June 2.

Summer Guide 2018 May 28

Fort Union Moonlight Tour, Watrous

Fort Union National Monument hosts Moonlight Tours starting on Monday, May 28. From 8:30 to 10pm, tour the remains of the largest 19th century military fort in the region, taking in the territoral-style adobe architecture basked in moonlight. On evenings when the moon shines bright enough, also enjoy naked eye astronomy. These tours happen all summer until Aug. 25. (

Summer Guide 2018 June 1

ShortGrass Music Festival 2018, Cimarron

The 1st of June kicks off the 14th season of the ShortGrass Music Festival in Cimarron. The kickoff concert on that Friday is with classical chamber music band, Zorá String Quartet at The Kiva at Cimarroncita. Lone Piñon plays Cimarron Mercantile on Friday, July 20 and FY5 plays the same venue on Friday, Sept. 21. All concerts begin at 7pm. Tickets are $15 per concert at the door and $10 if purchased in advance. Ages 18 and under are free. See more info on the ShortGrass website. (

Summer Guide 2018 June 2

National Trail Day—Questa History Walk, Questa

Celebrate National Trail Day by taking a guided walk and learning about the history of Questa, N.M. From 10:30am to noon, walk through Questa’s storied history, take in 5,000 years of Native and Spanish frontier history, see rare geologic features and old ruins in this small village. The free, short (.6 mile) walking tour is guided by historian Flavio Cisneros. Meet at the traffic light on the corner of Hwys 522 and 38 to enjoy this unique New Mexican history lesson. (

Spring & Fiber Festival, Santa Fe

On Saturday, June 2 and Sunday, June 3, El Rancho de las Golondrinas just outside Santa Fe hosts its annual Spring & Fiber Festival. From 10am to 4pm on both days see hide-tanning and blacksmithing demos, enjoy fresh lemonade and biscochitos, meet some live alpacas and learn about our national historic trails. Plus, get your full share of fiber action with sheep shearing, wool dyeing, spinning and weaving. Don’t forget to shop the fiber arts marketplace. Tickets start at $6 and children 12 and under are free. See a full list of events online. (

Summer Guide 2018 June 3

Corrales Garden Tour, Corrales

The Annual Corrales Garden Tour highlights the natural beauty of the historic village to Burque’s north, featuring the many beautiful gardens and tenacious gardeners whose work adds to the natural allure of the Rio Grande Valley that we all call home. The self-guided tour happens on Sunday June 3 from 9am to 4pm and happens throughout the storied town, with tents featuring food and entertainment available on the main road, Corrales Road, through town. Tickets can be purchased beginning in early May at the Frontier Mart and Village Mercantile in Corrales, Plants of the Southwest, Jericho Nurseries, Alameda Greenhouse and Osuna Nursery. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 the day of the tour. (

Summer Guide 2018 June 8

ARTsmart’s Edible Art Tour, Santa Fe

If walking through one of the world’s art capitals sampling great art and awesome local food seems like a thing to you, then indulge in this tour of the best Santa Fe has to offer, sponsored by Gallery 901. The Friday night iteration of this edible tour includes galleries on Canyon Road; the Saturday night event is all about the downtown art scene in our capitol city. Both include food from Santa Fe’s best restaurants. Tickets cost $35, are good for both nights, and the event begins with a big party at Gallery 901 on Friday night. (

Summer Guide 2018 June 9

Festival Flamenco Internacional de Albuquerque, Albuquerque on June 9
Music and the Stars, Radium Springs

Taking a grand view of the outdoors in our state is a noble activity, made more so at night by a sky filled with stars and wonder. Join New Mexico State Parks Service at Leasburg Dam State Park (12712 State Park Road, Radium Springs) for a deeper view of nature and the universe above. Several telescopes are available for the public to observe planets, stars, nebulae, etc. Weather permitting, the observatory and its 16-inch research grade telescope are also available for you to look through. Volunteers from the Astronomical Society of Las Cruces are on hand to assist visitors with the telescopes and answer questions. Regular park day-use or camping fees ($10) apply. The sky watching begins at 6:30pm and live classical music and food trucks are available to augment astronomical activities.

Festival Flamenco Internacional de Albuquerque, Albuquerque

The rich history of Flamenco has been regularly explored and celebrated here in Albuquerque and the yearly festival to honor this process is a must-attend summer event. Eight days of discussion, workshops, dancing and public performances provide participants with a stunning vision of an ages-old form of artistic expression. There are various venues for all of these entrancing and dancing festivities, including Rodey Theater, the Experimental Theater and Carlisle Gymnasium, all on the UNM campus. For more information about registration or to buy tickets please visit the website or call 242-7600. (

Fiesta en el Valle, Jemez Springs

The Valles Caledera National Preserve (39201 Highway 4, Jemez Springs, N.M.) presents a mountainous, yet practical festival all about interacting with nature. It happens the second weekend of June. Park rangers discourse on their favorite hikes, fly fishing, recreation options and outdoor safety in the Jemez mountains in this free, all day event that is buoyed by the serene natural beauty of our state. Get ready for some awesome adventures, outdoors-loving Burqueños!

Summer Guide 2018 June 16

Music on Top, Red River

Besides being a world-class ski town, Red River also features a wealth of summer recreation opportunities including events at the Tip Restaurant at Summit Camp (Red River Ski and Summer Area). Every Saturday, June 16 through Aug. 11, from 11am until 1pm, the Music on Top series features great New Mexican artists, starting with singer/songwriter Tom Munch. Take the chairlift up to this storied N.M. eatery and enjoy the Sangre de Cristo mountains and the cool musical vibes.

Summer Guide 2018 June 22

Bodacious Butterfly Festival, Raton

From Friday, June 22 through Sunday, June 24, learn about butterfly behaviors and practice catching these beautiful bugs with the kids in Sugarite Canyon State Park. Butterfly behavior experts Steve Cary of New Mexico and Mark Yaeger of Colorado are on hand to answer questions (butterfly-related only). Event is from 7 to 8pm on Friday, from 9am to 9pm on Saturday and from 9am to 3pm on Sunday. Event is included in $5 park day-use fee.

Summer Guide 2018 June 23

Dulce Base UFO Conference featuring Bigfoot, Dulce

“The only UFO conference on Native American reservation lands,” boasts the website for the Dulce Base UFO Conference. Registration begins at 3pm on Friday, June 22 and experts in the paranormal give lectures starting at 8:30am Saturday and Sunday. This year’s featured speaker is Dr. William Birnes, author of
The Day After Roswell. Tickets are $125. Visit the website to register in advance. (

End of Trail, Edgewood

For the 37th year, the Single Action Shooting Society presents the End of Trail, the world championship of cowboy action shooting. Bust out your spurs and head to Founders Ranch in Edgewood from 8am to 5pm on June 23 or 24 when the competition is open to public viewing, the saloon is jumping and vendors are selling the best in Old West merch. Tickets are $5. (

Summer Guide 2018 June 29

15th Annual Pork & Brew, Rio Rancho

From June 29 to July 1, sample New Mexico’s best barbecue and beers at Rio Rancho’s 15th annual Pork & Brew Festival. It goes down at Santa Ana Star Casino from 3 to 9pm on Friday, 11am to 7pm on Saturday, and noon to 6pm on Sunday, with arts and crafts, live music, cooking demos and pig races. Tickets are $6. (

Summer Guide 2018 June 30

Fort Stanton After Dark!, Fort Stanton

Visit historic Fort Stanton, established along the Rio Bonito in 1855, on June 30 for their special After Dark! event. There, the Lincoln County Paranormal Historical Society presides over the Civil War ghosts while costumed historians roam the fort. The event is from 6 to 9pm. Tickets are $5, free for children under 10. (

Toast of Taos Wine Festival & Golf Tournament, Ranchos de Taos

The Lions Club of Taos hosts the Toast of Taos Wine Festival and Golf Tournament at the Taos Country Club. Compete with other golfers for the longest drive starting at 9am, and begin tasting different wines of New Mexico at 2pm. Ages 21+, tickets are $45. (

25th Annual Santa Fe Wine Festival, Santa Fe

Santa Fe’s longest running wine festival returns to El Rancho de las Golondrinas from June 30 to July 1. Taste over 20 New Mexican wines, dance to live music and shop for handmade arts and crafts. Anyone under 21 must be accompanied by a guardian of legal age. Tickets are $18 (includes complimentary wine glass). (

Summer Guide 2018 June 30

July 4th Fireworks, Elephant Butte

Celebrate this bombastic, patriotic holiday with the biggest fireworks show in N.M. on the largest body of water in the state. Head down to Elephant Butte State Park for a long weekend, where fees are waived after 6pm in honor of the festivities. The sky lights up on the Saturday closest to July 4 (June 30), shortly after dusk. Be sure to check out the reflections in the water.

Summer Guide 2018 July 4

July 4th Tailgate Party and Fireworks Celebration, Eagle Nest

Take the road less traveled to Eagles Nest for a blowout unlike any other. It starts at 10am with an arts and crafts show at Enchanted Eagle Park. From 11am to 4pm, it’s the Eagle’s Nest Fireman’s BBQ. The annual Independence Day parade hits Therma Drive from 2 to 3pm. From 5 to 10pm, the Enchanted Circle Gateway Museum holds its second annual Tailgate Party, which features prime views of the roaring fireworks festivities taking place over Eagle Nest Lake, for a mere $5 per “legally seated” carload. Trip on up to “God’s Country” for free popcorn and pretty lights.

Doo Dah Parade and Fireworks, Glenwood

Looking for some Small Town, U.S.A., goodness for your holiday experience? Head to Glenwood Community Park, where there is a parade on Highway 180 beginning at 7pm. Stick around for the food and music that accompany the Big Bang Fireworks Display just after dark on Wednesday, July 4.

Summer Guide 2018 July 6

2018 Roswell UFO Festival, Roswell

People from 43 states and 16 countries. 27 media groups, 24 live network shows and countless printed stories can’t be wrong about the legendary Roswell UFO Festival—taking place July 6 from noon to 10pm, July 7 from 10am to 10pm and July 8 from 10am to 3pm. Beam on down to the site of the infamous Roswell UFO crash and be confronted by more alien-oriented events (a UFO light parade, planetarium shows, a sci-fi convention) than you can shake a probe at. (

Summer Guide 2018 July 11

Los Alamos ScienceFest, Los Alamos

If there hasn’t been a reason to skip over to the secluded town of Los Alamos, Los Alamos ScienceFest gives at least one. Hundreds of scientists, engineers, techies and artists gather to provide five days of mind-blowing education and entertainment. The festival has a plethora of events each day from Wednesday, July 11 through Sunday, July 15. (

Summer Guide 2018 July 13

Capulin Star Party, Des Moines

Rarely can one talk about amazing things to see in N.M. without mentioning the incredible star-viewing opportunities. Make a point to jaunt over to Capulin Volcano National Monument outside Raton on Friday, July 13 after dark for the annual Star Party. This Gold-Tier International Dark Sky Association Park boasts one of the best night sky viewing parties in the world!

Summer Guide 2018 July 14

8th Annual Lavender in the Valley Festival, Abiquiu on July 14
8th Annual Lavender in the Valley Festival, Abiquiu

New Mexicans tend to be understandably obsessed with one of our most abundant and profitable floral crops, lavender. The Purple Adobe Lavender Farm brings its Lavender Festival back on July 14 and 15 with u-pick lavender fields, their famous tea house, crafts, tours, food, music and lots and lots of lavender. Tickets are $5 and children under 10 are free. (

Summer Guide 2018 July 16

CLAY Fest, Silver City

Journey down the Clay Trail to Silver City for the 2018 CLAY Fest, July 16 through 21, for workshops and insight into the culture of clay. In this region clay is creatively used as art for pottery, murals, architecture and economy. This year-round clay destination shows off its humble yet practical element of the Land of Enchantment. (

Summer Guide 2018 July 19

Run to Raton, Raton

Don’t worry, no actual running is involved. This celebration of bikes, trikes and classic cars “runs” from Thursday, July 19 to Sunday, July 22 and showcases northern New Mexico drinks, food and landscapes. The packed event schedule includes live music, bike and car shows, a street party, games and prizes. Austin-based country band The Derailes plays Friday and Saturday night. It all starts on Thursday with a campout and party in infamous “Cold Beer,” N.M. Plan your weekend accordingly by checking out the happenings online. (

Summer Guide 2018 July 21

28th Annual Sand Sculpture Contest, Roswell

Calling all heroes of the beach to the 28th Annual Sand Sculpture Contest at Bottomless Lakes Park! Show your mad beach skills by building the wildest, most unique sand sculpture you can come up with while competing with other park goers from 7am to 1pm. Normal park entrance fees apply.

11th Annual ¡Viva México! Fiesta, Santa Fe

Celebrate the rich culture of Mexico at the 11th Annual ¡Viva México! Fiesta at El Rancho de las Golondrinas. Enjoy delicious Mexican food, shop at the
mercado, listen to mariachis and marvel at the amazing art both Saturday and Sunday July 21 and 22 from 10am to 4pm. Admission for adults is $8, teens and seniors are $6 and kids under 12 get in free. Tickets can be purchased at (

Summer Guide 2018 July 27

Edgewood Music & Arts Festival, Edgewood

The best bluegrass, folk, Irish and Western swing music acts cool their heels at Edgewood’s annual Music & Arts Festival, Friday and Saturday July 27 and 28, at the Wildlife West amphitheater. Headliners include Karl Schiflett & Big Country Show, Wood & Wire and The Cowboy Way. Admission to the park is free for children under 5, $9 for adults, $7 for seniors and $5 for students. Doors are open 10am to 6pm. (

Summer Guide 2018 August 3

Old Lincoln Days, Lincoln

Step into New Mexico’s past with food, music and a reenactment of Billy the Kid’s dramatic last escape at the Lincoln Historic Site. Old Lincoln Days takes visitors back to the days of the bloody Lincoln County War with live performances, music, food and a parade. Adult admission is $6. Museums open at 8:30am, and the reenactment caps it off at 8:30pm.

Summer Guide 2018 August 4

Socorro Chile Harvest Triathlon, Socorro

Compete in the spiciest ’athlon of the summer—the Chile Harvest Triathlon in Socorro. Swim, bike and run your way to legend status Saturday, Aug. 4 starting at 7:30am. Registration costs $60 for adults if filed before June 19, $80 if filed later. Registration ends Aug. 1. (

Places With a Past 2018 Historic Homes and Buildings Tour, Las Vegas

Celebrate the rejuvenation of Las Vegas with a self-guided tour of historic, freshly renovated homes and buildings. View these beautiful structures the way they were meant to be seen. Buildings along the tour route open their doors to visitors from 9am to 4pm. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased online. (

46th Annual Arts & Crafts Show, Santa Fe

Support local art and give a helping hand to New Mexico’s young women by heading out to the 46th annual Arts and Crafts Show benefiting Girls Inc. of Santa Fe. The juried show features the work of over a hundred artists and takes place at The Plaza downtown on Saturday from 9am to 6pm and on Sunday from 9am to 4pm. (

Hemp Fiesta, Albuquerque

Help make the summer a little greener with the Weekly Alibi at the second annual Hemp Fiesta. Learn about one of the fastest-growing industries in New Mexico from medical cannabis experts and industry leaders at Balloon Fiesta Park from noon to 9pm. Admission is free. (

Summer Guide 2018 August 11

Zuni Pueblo ArtWalk, Zuni

The artists of Zuni Pueblo open the doors of their studios for an all-day ArtWalk, Saturday Aug. 11 and Sunday Aug. 12. Experience all the potters, jewelers, fiber artists and more this historic western New Mexico pueblo has to offer. Maps are available online or through the Zuni Pueblo Visitors Center. (

Summer Guide 2018 August 17

Music From Angel Fire, Taos

For 35 years the village of Taos has brought world-class chamber music musicians to our state to share the joy of classical music. From Aug. 17 to Sept. 1, more than a dozen concerts take place all over northern New Mexico (Angle Fire, Taos, Las Vegas, Raton, Eagle Nest). Noted local flautist Robert Mirabal kicks off the 2018 season with a special Mozart concert at the Angel Fire Community Center on Aug. 17. Mozart is the main focus this year, but other composers get their moment in the limelight, as well—including a 100th birthday celebration for Leonard Bernstein. Full schedules are online now. Tickets go on sale June 1.

Summer Guide 2018 August 18

Questa Arts Tour, Questa

Now in its third year, the Questa Arts tour takes place Aug. 18 and 19. More than 30 artists and craftspeople are on display, allowing visitors the opportunity to snap up everything from oil paintings to homemade soap, from jewelry to glassworks. While there, shoppers are invited to take in the beautiful high-altitude scenery, hike in the Carson National Forest and check out some of the local restaurants. (

Summer Guide 2018 August 25

Elephant Butte Balloon Regatta, Elephant Butte

The last full weekend in August (Aug. 25 and 26) welcomes this 38th annual slow-motion balloon/boat race through the air and in the water of Elephant Butte. It starts at dawn with a traditional mass ascension. This is followed by a unique relay race in which boat captains hand off batons to balloon pilots. The day ends at dusk with an evening balloon glow. Admission is free with State Park entrance fee. (

Summer Guide 2018 August 31

Burning of Zozobra, Santa Fe

This trademark New Mexico event traces back almost a hundred years. The towering, 50-foot marionette known as Zozobra (a.k.a Old Man Gloom) is stuffed full of people’s handwritten regrets and set on fire at sundown on the first night of Labor Day weekend (the unofficial end of summer). This cathartic immolation leaves hyped-up revelers happier and (theoretically) less burdened by worldly concerns. Gates open at 3pm at Fort Marcy Park. Entertainment starts at 7. Tickets (still just $10) go on sale July 4. For an exta $10 visitors from Albuquerque can add a round-trip Railrunner ticket for added convenience. (

Festival Flamenco Internacional de Albuquerque, Albuquerque on June 9

8th Annual Lavender in the Valley Festival, Abiquiu on July 14

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