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11 Great Family-Friendly Experiences in Red River

Friday, March 22, 2019 7:00 AM

A mountain town of fewer than 500 residents, Red River, New Mexico, manages to always have something going on. From bluegrass festivals to classic car shows to Oktoberfest, the residents of this former mining town love to have fun! Located on the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway, Red River also offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure and has gained a well-deserved spot on many families’ annual vacation calendar.

The small ski town of Red River, New Mexico, has long been a home away from home for some of the country’s best musicians. In fact, some historians claim that without Red River, Austin wouldn’t have the thriving live music scene that it does today and it’s said that some of Austin’s most prominent musicians actually started off in Red River. Rumor has it that Neil Young once took the stage in the Motherlode Saloon and while many of the festivals have popped up in recent years, some of them unofficially go back as far as the 1960s. Red River is steeped in musical history and tradition.

Set in the heart of Native American ancestral homelands, Gallup, New Mexico, is a gateway to Native American culture. The Navajo Nation lies at the city’s doorstep. The Pueblo of Zuni is south of the city and the Hopi Reservation lies just over the state line in Arizona. The region’s culture truly shines during the Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial, when Native Americans from across the Southwest and Mexico flock to the town for a week of pow wows, parades, an all-Indian rodeo, and other events.

First launched on September 28, 1922, the Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial has been taking place in Gallup, New Mexico, for nearly a century. It’s not only one of the state’s oldest events, but also one of the oldest continuous recognitions of Native American culture and art. (It has inspired similar gatherings in locales across the Southwest, but has always been the original.) After nearly a hundred years, a few of the details of the event’s history have faded away, but the Ceremonial’s founding story is clear.

10 Must-See Cultural Attractions in Gallup

Monday, March 18, 2019 9:00 AM

Founded in 1881 when the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad tracks were laid through town, Gallup, New Mexico, is a gateway to Native American culture. It's the largest town on the edge of the Navajo Nation and is also near both the Pueblo of Zuni and Hopi Reservation just over the state line. Thanks to this rich history, the town is well-known for the Gallup Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial, an annual event that includes a pow wow with traditional dances, an arts and crafts fair, an all-Indian rodeo, a pageant, and more. But if you just can’t make it for the ceremonial in August, there are still plenty of ways to experience Gallup’s unique culture year-round.

Starting in the 1950s, draggin’ Main Street in Clovis, New Mexico, was a popular pastime. Cruising the town’s “main drag” was a Friday night ritual with a long line of cars, bumper to bumper, slowly creeping down Main—windows rolled down, radios blasting rock & roll, engines revving, kids hollering, and lots of laughter. This was how teens and young adults enjoyed their weekend social life. It was a way to meet friends, find dates, and check out four-wheeled rivals.

How Clovis Impacted the Growth of Rock & Roll

Monday, March 18, 2019 9:00 AM

The town of Clovis on New Mexico’s eastern plains is an unlikely birthplace of American rock & roll music, yet some of the industry’s biggest names have recorded here. Straddling US 60 a scant eight miles from the Texas border, the agricultural town was the 1950s home of the Norman Petty Studios, a small recording space in a former grocery store on West 7th Street.

The Story of the Clovis People

Monday, March 18, 2019 9:00 AM

It all started with a flood in northern New Mexico in 1908. Cowboy George McJunkin was checking fences and arroyos for damage after the rain had stopped and came across the largest bison bones he had ever seen. The ground had been washed away in the flood, exposing the bones for the first time in thousands of years. Over the next few years, archaeologists started excavating the site and word began to spread.

The Balloons and Tunes Festival is always on the first weekend in November, which also just so happens to be time change weekend. So this year it will be held Friday (private lift off from elementary schools) November 1-Sunday November 3.

Weather permitting, the balloons will lift off from Eagle Draw Park each morning at sunrise. 

There’s a reason that so many New Mexico postcards feature colorful hot air balloons—they’re a unique part of the state’s culture. The crisp, high-desert air provides the ideal climate for ballooning, so locals are used to seeing a sky filled with them on their daily commutes, especially during the fall. But if you haven’t seen the balloons before, the experience is nothing short of magical!