The cave near Dripping Springs Trail has been used by many over thousands of years, most recently by the Hermit. The perennial springs provided a backdrop for a resort in the late 1800s before being converted to a sanitarium.
NOVEMBER 23 – DECEMBER 31 | Bundled up against the winter chill, you stare in fascination as your boat glides through a fairyland of twinkling lights created by more than 100 Pecos River homeowners and corporate sponsors who spend hours creatively decorating backyards and boat docks with millions of lights. The dark river, usually illuminated by only the stars and moon, reflects what has become one of New Mexico’s grandest holiday light shows Christmas on the Pecos. The 26th season runs November 24, 2017-December 31, 2017 (excluding December 24). Ticket prices are as follows: Sunday-Thursday adults 13 and over are $15 per person Children ages 4-12 are $10 per person. Friday-Saturday adults are $20.00 per person children are $15.00 per person children 4 and under are free as long as they do not occupy a seat.
NOVEMBER 25 - 27 | The Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festivals have been featuring vibrant collections of fine artists and craftsmen from all over the map for the past 29 years. Rio Grande’s three annual juried art shows, each with their own distinct flavor, are ranked among the top 100 art festivals in the nation. Combine those rankings with Albuquerque’s status as a top-ten art destination, and it’s no wonder these bustling markets have lured thousands of shoppers, avid collectors, and a continually evolving lineup of cutting-edge artistic talent!
NOVEMBER 26 – DECEMBER 30 | Get into the holiday spirit at River of Lights! Over 500 light displays, animated sculptures & more twinkling surprises will dazzle you at New Mexico’s original and largest walk-through holiday production. Located at the ABQ Bio Park. Tickets are $12 for adults, $6 for children.
DECEMBER 1 | Kick off the holiday season under the lights in Historic Old Town. Enjoy a New Mexican Christmas by eating tamales and biscochitos, and enjoy the view of Historic Old Town immersed in farolitos. Grab some hot chocolate and watch the time honored lighting of the giant Christmas tree, a spectacle made of over 150 different trees, at this magical Albuquerque event. Live entertainment will fill the streets on 15 stages and add to the festivities. The Albuquerque Museum, Natural History Museum of History and Science, and Explora will join in the evening with free admission and activities.
DECEMBER 1 – 3 | This year marks the 37th anniversary of the Red Rock Balloon Rally. What began as a small but earnest effort by four individuals to share the unique flying challenge offered in the incredible red rock formations east of Gallup, New Mexico has grown into the second largest balloon rally in North America, with 200 balloons.
DECEMBER 2 | The Carlsbad Winter Wine Festival is a special weekend taking place during the annual Christmas on the Pecos. Friday night is a special sponsors VIP party and Saturday will be a wine festival with plenty of holiday arts & crafts.
DECEMBER 2 – 3 | Authentic 400-year old traditions and innovative Spanish Colonial style artwork, made by New Mexico artists. Come and join this Hispanic festival including art, local music, food, demonstrations and more. Interact personally with extraordinary artists; learn about their traditions; take home a special purchase to add to a collection or give as a gift.
DECEMBER 2 -4 | WinterFest Weekend is a family-oriented holiday event that celebrates winter in Los Alamos, New Mexico. A number of businesses and organizations host events including the Children’s Bazaar and Breakfast with Santa. The Fuller Lodge Open House and the Earth Treasure Show always draw crowds. Don’t miss Affordable Arts at the Fuller Lodge Art Center for great holiday gifts!
DECEMBER 3 | Beautifully lit and fantastically festive, the Festival of Lights–Parade of Lights starts at 5:30 pm from the corner of Sudderth/Mechem, through Midtown, down to the Chamber of Commerce. The Ruidoso Valley Chamber of Commerce is partnering with Toys for Tots and encourage everyone to bring a new, unwrapped toy to the Parade of Lights. During the parade Toys for Tots will have a float and will be collecting toys. Marines will be walking along the float picking up the toys that are brought to the parade.
DECEMBER 7 | Please join the merchants in Nob Hill as we kick off the holiday season! Central Ave will be closed for convenient walking. Interactive Activities, Pop-Up Gifts, Special Decorations and of course Live Music! This is a free event that is fun for all ages.
DECEMBER 10 – 12 | This celebration is a cultural mix of Native American (Piro, Manso and Tiwa ancestry) and Hispanic customs and traditions. The 3-day event celebrates the apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Virgin Mary) to the Indian San Juan Diego on Tepeyac Hill, near Mexico City. This tribute has been celebrated at the village pueblo for more than 100 years. Records show that celebrations of Our Lady of Guadalupe have been held in Las Cruces since the 1880’s. The present-day event was moved to Tortugas in 1910 but was previously held at the site of the old St. Genevieve’s Church on what is now Main Street in downtown Las Cruces. Free admission. 575-526-8171, 575-526-5675.
DECEMBER 16 – 18 | The Santa Fe Indian Market is the largest and most prestigious juried Native arts show in the world. Indian Market provides a rare opportunity to meet Native artists and learn about contemporary Indian arts and cultures. Quality and authenticity are the hallmarks of the Santa Fe Indian Market, which is produced by the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts (SWAIA), a non-profit organization that promotes Native art and artists. Begun in 1922, Indian Market attracts over 100,000 visitors from all over the world, to buy art directly from roughly 900 artists from 200+ federally recognized tribes from the U.S. and Canada.
DECEMBER 26 | The Turtle Dance is easily the most important public religious ceremony of the San Juan calendar, defining as it does the end of one year and the beginning of a new one. The dance is named for the turtle, believed to be the first hibernating being that moves about after the year has turned; thus, the turtle is seen as symbolizing the beginning of each new annual cycle. Because the Turtle Dance and songs usher in a new year, the four songs must be composed anew for each year's performance. This is also true of those other dances and songs that usher in new seasons and their associated cycles of activity. For the majority of San Juan religious dances, however, the songs are unvarying, probably having been set for untold centuries.
JANUARY 23 | The Pueblo de San Ildefonso history dates back to 1300 A.D. when the people from Bandelier moved down to the current location next to the Rio Grande. Before this, they had come from Mesa Verde in Southern Colorado. Today the Pueblo consists of over 60,000 acres and has an enrollment of approximately 750 people. On January 23rd, beginning at dawn, the People of San Ildefonso celebrate their annual feast day with traditional dances, Deer and Comanche dances. There is Mass celebrated on this day as well. These dances, vespers and Mass blend the native practices with the feast day of the saint Ildefonso.
William Howard Shuster, Jr. (1893-1969) crafted the first Zozobra in 1924 for a private event at his home for artists and writers during Fiestas de Santa Fe. His inspiration for Zozobra came from the Holy Week celebrations of the Yaqui Indians of Mexico; an effigy of Judas, filled with firecrackers, was led around the village on a donkey and later burned.
New Mexico Events
Great American Duck Race
At the Great American Duck Race in Deming, New Mexico, contestants first line up to pick a live duck from a pen. Cost is $5. Competitors, with ducks in hand, then find one of eight lanes on either the wet or dry track. On the count of 3, contestants let go of their ducks and the first duck across the finish line advances. The annual event reached its 37th year in 2016.
New Mexico Events
Color Adrift | Balloon Fiesta
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the largest hot air balloon event in the world, held for 9 days at the beginning of October in Albuquerque. Color Adrift is a timelapse film by Knate Myers that captures the color and energy of the event. It is comprised of several thousand photographs taken over the course of two years at the fairgrounds and around the city.
New Mexico Events
Gathering of Nations Grand Entry
The Gathering of Nations is the largest powwow in the world, with 500 tribes from North America competing in dance and celebrating indigenous culture. Ms. Indian World is crowned during the three day event held annually in Albuquerque on the last weekend of April. The Gathering will be April 27-29, 2017 at the New Mexico State Fairgrounds/EXPO New Mexico.