Santa Fe EventsIn addition to its many cultural and historic landmarks, this destination hosts a number of outstanding festivals and events that may coincide with your visit.
Designated a UNESCO “Creative City,” Santa Fe is a haven for anyone who is creatively inspired, and many events focus on art, culture, music and fine food. They range from poetry readings, Native American art shows and folk art markets to chile and wine celebrations and music festivals that mash up flamenco, jazz and tribal rhythms with soothing New Age sounds, chamber orchestras and desert chorales.
The Art of the Home Tour in early March includes homes from affordable to luxurious, all with interiors featuring artworks for sale from Santa Fe galleries. Proceeds benefit ARTsmart, a program that provides visual art materials and instruction for elementary through high school students.
In late June the rodeo comes to town, as it has every year since 1949. Rodeo de Santa Fe includes barrel racing, individual and team roping, bareback riding, steer wrestling, bull riding—and for kids, the popular Mutton Bustin’ and Calf Scramble events. A carnival midway, concession vendors and a beer garden make sure there's enough entertainment for the whole family with all sorts of things to do with kids.
Also aimed at little tykes is the Spring Festival and Fiber Arts Fair , which takes place in early June at El Rancho de las Golondrinas. “Villagers” in period garb demonstrate what life was like on a Spanish colonial ranch. Kids can see wolves, miniature horses, sheep and greyhounds, eat bizcochitos (a traditional cookie) fresh from a horno (outdoor oven), make their own tortillas and participate in hands-on arts and crafts.
Warm summer weather beckons outdoor festivalgoers. The Northern New Mexico Fine Arts and Crafts Guild Cathedral Park Show sets up camp in Cathedral Park for three shows—in late May, mid-July and late September—all spotlighting the talents of northern New Mexican artisans.
In mid-July, artists from more than 45 countries display their work at the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market , which takes place at Museum Hill. Materials are both utilitarian and decorative—everything from paper and cloth to clay and metal. In addition to showcasing artistic versatility, the festivities include educational programs, food and entertainment.
Every August since 1922 the Santa Fe Indian Market has taken place downtown at Santa Fe Plaza. More than 1,000 emerging and established artists from some 100 tribes enter this juried competition. Collectors, gallery owners and professional buyers are among those who gather to appraise the selection of traditional and contemporary artwork. What makes this event special is the opportunity to meet the artists and gain insight into their cultural backgrounds and creative inspirations.
The Fiestas de Santa Fe has been celebrated since 1712. The event commemorates Spanish general Don Diego Vargas’ peaceful reoccupation of the city in 1692 following an Indian revolt 12 years earlier. Always taking place the weekend after Labor Day, it features mariachi concerts, an arts and crafts festival at Santa Fe Plaza, lectures, entertainment and traditional mass services. The festivities culminate with the ritual burning of Zozobra, a 50-foot-tall marionette effigy known as Old Man Gloom, in order to dispel the travails of the previous year (it's advised not to bring young children to this particular event).
Music is as integral to the Santa Fe experience as food and art. The Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival takes place from mid-July to mid-August, with performances at the intimate St. Francis Auditorium and the state-of-the-art Lensic Performing Arts Center. The concert calendar includes piano recitals, string quartets and performances of classics by past masters as well as the music of living composers. For ticket information phone (505) 982-1890 or (888) 221-9836, ext. 102.
The festival season at the renowned Santa Fe Opera , founded in 1957, runs from July through August, with presentations of classics as well as new works. A sparkling roster of international opera stars draws thousands of music lovers to the city. Listening to a passionately sung aria while seated in an outdoor adobe amphitheater—with the Sangre de Cristo Mountains providing a dramatic backdrop—is an experience you'll never forget.
The Santa Fe Desert Chorale Summer Festival features concerts at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi , Loretto Chapel and Cristo Rey Church . The group performs mainly a cappella and is known for both its seamless blend of voices and wide-ranging programming selections that span some nine centuries of music. For program and other information phone (505) 988-2282.
Santa Fe has quite the culinary reputation, and the Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta in late September is one of the best ways to partake. Dozens of local restaurants and West Coast wineries participate in this foodie extravaganza. Events include wine seminars, cooking demos and guest chef tours, which combine a visit to attractions like El Rancho de las Golondrinas or Georgia O'Keeffe's former home in the town of Abiquiu with a chef-prepared gourmet lunch. The fiesta's highlight event, the Grand Tasting, is a delicious treat.
The Santa Fe International Film Festival in late October offers narrative feature, documentary, animation, short narrative, short documentary and indigenous films, as well as panels, workshops, youth programs, art exhibitions.
See all the AAA recommended events for this destination.
Santa Fe, NM
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Members save 5% or more and earn Marriott Bonvoy™ points when booking AAA/CAA rates!La Posada de Santa Fe Resort & Spa, Tribute Portfolio
330 E Palace Ave. Santa Fe, NM 87501