Lowrider and car enthusiasts from New Mexico and beyond gather in New Mexico’s Northern Valley for special events year-round to celebrate the culture, community, style, and art of lowriders. From designated Lowrider Days and special holiday cruises to art exhibits and community events, you are invited and encouraged to come out and experience the energy, enthusiasm, and beauty surrounding lowriders for yourself.
If you’re interested in checking out a lowrider cruise or event, check out local Facebook pages like:
Please be mindful to note which listed events are open or closed to the public.
From the prayers that commence cruising events to the rosaries hanging from rearview mirrors and intricate paintings of religious figures on hoods, it’s obvious that faith plays an important role in the lowrider community. It’s not uncommon to see these beautiful, candy-painted rides out strolling low and slow for religious holidays such as Good Friday and Christmas or posted up at santuarios for weddings and christenings.
Santuarios – places of worship — are important pillars of both New Mexican and lowrider culture. Northern New Mexico is home to incredible churches and cathedrals with significant historic and cultural importance. Take time to discover the santuarios around the Northern Valley – you might even catch a glimpse of a lowrider while you’re there.
Lowriders are a source of artistic self-expression. The passion and artistry that goes into every car is absolutely incredible and, like a painting, are works of art. And just like the head-turning rides that cruise the streets, you’ll find beautiful murals, public art installations, and galleries across New Mexico.
While the exact origins of lowriders are often a subject of fierce debate, in the 1980s Española declared itself the Lowrider Capitol of the World. The title has stuck ever since. These cars are works of art, expressions of faith and culture, and cornerstones of families.
Today, lowrider culture is alive and well in New Mexico. Coming soon to Española is the Española Lowrider Museum, which aims to teach the history, art, and culture of lowriding and to promote lowriders as vital elements of Northern New Mexican culture and heritage.
These days, lowriders thrive in Española, Chimayó, Albuquerque, and other New Mexico towns. But with cars that represent tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of investments, your best bet for seeing them is at an organized car show. Photographer and writer Kate Russell explores the unique culture of lowriders in Northern New Mexico.