Fall is on its way and you know what that means. No, I’m not talking about pumpkin-flavored everything. Fall is packed with some unique festivals that you won’t want to miss. Here are 10 fun New Mexico festivals in 2016 that the whole family can enjoy:
1. ¡Globalquerque! Festival (Albuquerque)
If you’ve ever wondered what music in Zimbabwe sounds like, you can find out at this celebration of world music and culture, held at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Where else will you have the opportunity to hear music from Israel and Vietnam on the same night? This event runs from September 23-24, 2016.
2. Pinto Bean Fiesta (Moriarty)
Celebrate the annual pinto bean harvest at this festival that includes a parade and typically a costume contest and food booths. It is held on September 24.
3. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (Albuquerque)
The world’s largest ballooning event runs from October 1-9. This festival began in 1972 and has become so big that it now features more than 700 balloons. Start your day early by witnessing a morning mass ascension and end it with balloon glows and fireworks at night. In-between, wander between the balloons (you can walk right up to them), cheer on chainsaw carving contestants, and enjoy live music performance.
4. Aztec Highland Games and Celtic Festival (Aztec)
You don’t expect to find a highland games in Northwestern New Mexico, which makes this event especially appealing. In addition to contests like the Scottish hammer throw and caber toss, there is dancing and a bagpipe exhibition. This festival takes place October 1- 2 in Riverside Park.
5. Taos Wool Festival (Taos)
Each year, people gather in Kit Carson Park to watch spinning and sheep shearing demonstrations. There are various competitions for hand spun yarn and a critters corner featuring the animals that provide the wool (sheep, angora rabbits, alpacas, goats). Even Fido can join in the fun by entering the dog sweater contest. Add this family-friendly event to your calendar on October 1-2.
6. Harvest Festival at El Rancho de las Golondrinas (Santa Fe)
Readers of “USA Today” rated this fall harvest festival as the second best in the country. This living history museum provides an ideal backdrop for family-friendly activities like making tortillas, stringing ristras, and crushing grapes with your bare feet. There are some unusual events on the schedule, such as a tasting demonstration of food that was typical in the 1800s. The festival runs from October 1-2 this year.
7. Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium (Ruidoso Downs)
Each year, 20,000 people flock to this event that celebrates cowboy culture. Eat a chuck wagon dinner while listening to cowboy poetry or storytellers spinning a good old yarn. Other highlights include swing dancing and the kids’ rodeo. This event takes place October 7-9.
8. Oktoberfest (Red River)
Go German for a weekend at Red River’s annual Oktoberfest in Brandenburg Park. Perhaps sampling the microbrews might help you find the courage to enter the yodeling contest! Oktoberfest takes place October 7-9.
9. Rootin’ Tootin Rib Cook-Off (Las Cruces)
Stuff yourself with tender ribs at this cook off held at the Mesilla Valley Maze on October 8. Activities include live music, adult trike races, and the maze’s usual attractions such as gem mining and hamster wheels.
10. Roswell Jazz Festival (Roswell)
Celebrate jazz at any of the ten venues throughout the city that are hosting concerts as part of this event. Listen to music in local wineries, restaurants, and churches. The festival takes place October 19-23.
Of course, these are just some of the more interesting events taking place across New Mexico this fall. Are you planning to go to any fall festivals this year? Let us know on the
Only In New Mexico Facebook page.