Festivals and Fairs

From the Deming Duck Races to world-famous International Balloon Festival™ in Albuquerque, New Mexico offers an exciting cornucopia of fairs, festivals, and expositions in every field of human endeavor. Festivals celebrating films, folk art, food, cars, kites, music, wildlife, rivers, cowboys- even pies and UFOs -join with small-town fiestas, Spanish markets, wine carnivals, motorcycle rallies and seasonal celebrations at the Native American pueblos and tribes to fill the state’s annual calendar with food and fun found nowhere else.

Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium

One of the nation’s premier cowboy events, the Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium, returns to the Ruidoso Downs Race Track every fall. The Symposium – named one of North America's top 100 events by the American Bus Association - welcomes more than 20,000 visitors annually to celebrate all things Western: from cowboy poets, musicians, and chuck wagon cooks to horsemanship demonstrations, Western artists and vendors. Highlights of the Symposium include the World Championship Chuckwagon Competition; demonstrations of many different types of horse-related activities; activities for the children; and live music around every corner.

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The Great American Duckrace

The annual Great American Duck Race in Deming offers tons of family fun. Taking place annually in late October, the event features fast duck race competitions, Duck Dances, a softball tournament, a carnival, hot air balloons, barbecues, parades, craft vendors and nonstop entertainment. Most Duck Race activities take place at or near McKinley Duck Downs (the Luna County Courthouse Park) unless otherwise noted:

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Festival of the Cranes

Taking place during migrations each November, the annual Festival of the Cranes offers something for everyone: from backyard birders to bird experts, from amateur photographers to pros.  The Festival highlights the world-renowned Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, one of the most spectacular national wildlife refuges in North America. Activities include refuge tours; bird, biology, geology and art workshops; keynote speakers; and much more.  Members of the Audubon Council of New Mexico, the Central New Mexico Audubon Society, the American Birding Association and the Friends of the Bosque Board will be on hand at the observation decks around the Bosque tour loops to assist visitors with questions and to share their birding expertise and scopes.

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Roswell UFO Festival

In early July 1947, a mysterious object crashed on a ranch 30 miles north of Roswell. The Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) issued a statement claiming to have recovered a crashed “flying disk,” and an article ran on the front page of the Roswell Daily Record. The next day, however, the RAAF changed its statement to say that the object was a weather balloon. The statement sparked immediate controversy and has continued to be a topic of debate. MainStreet Roswell, Roswell Parks and Recreation, Roswell Museum and Art Center, the Roswell Runners Club, and Roswell Lodgers Tax invite UFO enthusiasts and skeptics alike to join in the celebration of this “debate,” of the Roswell Incident at the UFO Festival. Taking place each 4th of July weekend, events include guest speakers, authors, live entertainment, a costume contest, a pet costume contest, parade, a low-rider and funny car show and contest.

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Santa Fe Fiestas

The cry of “Viva la Fiesta” has been reverberating through the streets of Old Santa Fe every autumn for 301 years. The sound generates a curious blend of thanksgiving, revelry and pride in the hearts of Santa Feans who celebrate Fiesta annually, typically each September, to commemorate Don Diego De Vargas’ peaceful reoccupation of the City of Holy Faith in 1692. Many Santa Fe locals recognize the Burning of Zozobra, a 50 ft. puppet symbolizing Old Man Gloom, as the start of the festivities.

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New Mexico State Fair

Held each September, the New Mexico State Fair remains one of the largest fairs in the nation, with PRCA rodeo and nationally known country-western recording stars, and the Indian and Spanish villages - all the makings for a fantastic family experience! The New Mexico State Fair offers livestock exhibits and competitions of all kinds to local farmers, ranchers, and 4H club members, while school children from all over the state look forward to seeing their art work displayed in one of the exhibit halls. Stop by the midway and checkout the excitement of rides and games of skill. The snacks are plentiful, and the exhibit halls are packed with the finest arts, crafts and livestock that New Mexico has to offer.

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Golden Aspen Motorcycle Rally Ruidoso

Each September, more than 35,000 motorcycles roar into the Ruidoso Valley for the annual Ruidoso Golden Aspen Motorcycle Rally and Trade Show in September.

Sponsored by the Golden Aspen Rally Association, the rally, features a daily trade show, food and beverage, poker runs, field games, giveaways, & the crowning of the Golden Aspen Rally Queen and King.

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Lea County Fair & Rodeo

Don’t miss the Lea County Fair, held each August in Lovington! The largest county fair and rodeo in New Mexico, the fair features nightly PRCA Rodeos, carnival midway, pig race, local team roping, and a fiddler's contest like you won’t see anywhere else.

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Ruidoso Aspenfest

AspenFest, Ruidoso’s annual fall celebration, the first weekend in October, allows residents and visitors alike to participate in the celebration of our caring community, the cool crispness of the coming fall and the beauty that is Ruidoso. AspenFest weekend is kicked off every year with a parade Saturday at 10 a.m. through Midtown Ruidoso and features a Golf Tournament on Sunday. Everybody 

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