Expanded SocorroFest 2018 Joins Lineup for One of Busiest Weekends in Socorro County
SOCORRO – Let the state spotlight shine on Socorro County, as she hosts one of the busiest weekends ever in her storied history, now that the 16th annual SocorroFest has joined the lineup of events for Oct. 5-6, the legendary “first Saturday in October.”
And what a weekend it’s going to be, culminating in a headliner concert featuring “Hotel California: A Salute to the Eagles,” a group that fills the void left by The Eagles when they disbanded in 1982, and which performs before thousands year-round. Admission is free.
SocorroFest is the newcomer to traditional “first Saturday in October” events, and the weekend schedule was arranged so locals and visitors alike have opportunity to partake of anything or everything from a sumptuous buffet featuring history, science and seasonal celebrations, including that of the annual ritual of chile-roasting.
This year’s SocorroFest offerings will take over the city Plaza with three entertainment stages, a lowrider “Show and Shine” display, pet parade and enough music and food choices to sate the heartiest appetites. Add to that a green chile cook-off for charity and sampling rights later on.
“This is the first time we’ve done this,” said Ronna Kalish, a piece of the SocorroFest fabric since its inception in 2003, in moving the annual event celebrating all that is good and unique in the county, to the first weekend in October.
In doing so, SocorroFest joins a long-established schedule of first-Saturday-in-October events:
- Trinity Site, one of only two days a year the historic site, where the world’s first nuclear device was assembled and detonated at Ground Zero on White Sands Missile Range, is open to the public, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.;
- Oktoberfest, the annual burger-brats-beer and entertainment festival at the Hammel Museum, sponsored by the Socorro County Historical Society, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.;
- Socorro Train Gang display at the Hammel Museum;
- First-Saturday VLA Open House and Guided Tours, San Agustin Plains, 50 miles west on U.S. Hwy. 60; first tour at 11 a.m., final tour at 5 p.m.;
- First-Saturday Star Party, 7 – 10 p.m., Etscorn Observatory.
Contest Deadlines to Note
Among SocorroFest traditions is the annual T-shirt Design Contest, where the winning entry will become the face – and official t-shirt – in promoting and celebrating the event. Rules are simple: Artists young and old, or anyone with a visual idea of what SocorroFest means to them, is welcome to enter.
Ideas are as boundless as the imagination, because SocorroFest is a colorful event that unfolds toward the end of the harvest season, adding to its richness of tradition.
And what do people do to celebrate the harvest? They celebrate with music, dancing and food with friends, family and neighbors, grateful for the camaraderie shared among diverse community groups.
Help celebrate this annual event by coming up with a design to be printed on this year's t-shirt. The winner gets $25 gift card plus bragging rights. Please take entries to the Heritage and Visitors Center at 217 Fisher Ave. before 4 p.m. Entry deadline is 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 8.
So, yes, it’s all about a coming together of people and the fun things people enjoy doing, against a day-long background of entertainment from young dancers to this year’s SocorroFest headliner, Hotel California: A Salute to the Eagles.
Free State of Socorro
Another thread in the tapestry that is SocorroFest has to do with recognizing and celebrating the 50th anniversary of the city’s status as the “Free State of Socorro.”
According to legend and memory, a group of community leaders and what-not gathered in the basement of the Capitol Bar one fine evening in 1953. What came out of that informal gathering was the brilliant idea of seceding from the Union and establishing the Free State of Socorro.
Never mind that the idea was hardly original, having been launched strictly as a publicity stunt; still, the story did generate its share of publicity at the time, a high-water mark being subject of a feature article in a national weekly publication.
In retrospect, the idea readily and faithfully reflects the rebel nature of a town that boasts Elfego Baca as a sheriff, a hanging or three, desperados and heroes and what-not, all cast together in celebrating all that was and is Socorro County.
- Socorro, NM 87801
- Socorro Historic Plaza