TIPS UP (AND BOTTOMS) UP
Raise a glass January 31–February 4 during the Taos Winter Wine Festival’s tastings, seminars, and dinners. (800) 776-1111; taoswinterwinefest.com
Angel Fire hosts the 39th annual World Championship Shovel Races, February 2–3. Competitors step astride the handle of a snow shovel, aim it downhill, and sit on the aluminum scoop for rides that can reach 60 miles per hour. (800) 633-7463; angelfireresort.com
Red River’s Mardi Gras in the Mountains was imported by Louisiana transplants years ago, and it remains a favorite tradition. From February 8 to 13, Cajun and gumbo feasts, parades, live music, and “krewe balls” fill the downtown saloons. The toughest seat to secure is at the Drink Making Contest, which combines cocktail-mixing skills with over-the-top style. Swing by Cloudcroft’s Mardi Gras in the Clouds, February 9–11, to taste the results of their Cajun cooking contest and score some beads. (575) 682-2733; coolcloudcroft.com/mardigras
Climb the multistory snow castle and join a mountain-wide treasure hunt to win prizes at the Sipapu Fun Fest, SeptemberFebruary 17–19. (800) 587-2240; sipapunm.com
Catch the next great thing in skiing and snowboarding during the USASA Red River Rampage Slopestyle at the Red River Ski & Summer Area, February 24–25. Participants are competing for a spot in the nationals, and much of the action will be in the Hollywood Terrain Park, right under the main chairlift. 575-754-2223; redriverskiarea.com
On February 3, the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park near Carlsbad takes a sentimental turn with the Sweetheart Serenade. The Cavernaires Barbershop Chorus sings classics like “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” and “Down by the Old Mill Stream,” to serenade not only the resident roadrunners and javelinas, but also couples in the crowd. (575) 887-5516; nmmag.us/sweetserenade
Feel the love at the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe during its Valentine’s Day Extravaganz, February 4. As part of the museum’s centennial celebration, the editors of El Palacio magazine have assembled writers who will pen love poems about the museum, which will then be read onstage. While there, you can get craftsy and use museum ephemera to make cards, heart-shaped ornaments, and collages. (505) 476-5072; nmartmuseum.org
REEL THEM IN
For the Santa Fe Film Festival’s inaugural entries in the New Mexico Film and Television Awards and Hall of Fame, festival staff are going way back—as far back as Thomas Edison. In 1897, when the Wizard of Menlo Park shot a short documentary, “Indian Day School,” at Isleta Pueblo, it was some of the earliest filmmaking in the Land of Enchantment. That flickering silver screen has since blossomed into big business for the state. Organizers are close-lipped about honorees for the February 11 event but promise a star-studded evening.
The film and television industry has become so central to New Mexico’s economy, and we wanted to shine a light on the contributions that individuals and businesses and the industry itself have brought to New Mexico,” says festival staffer Bonnie Schwartz.
Besides a range of film screenings, the festival, February 7–11, features a new women’s narrative program, a collaboration with New Mexico Girls Make Movies. For those still looking for their breakthrough role, the Tune Up event includes panels, workshops, head shots, film reels, mixers, and networking events. (505) 216-6063; santafefilmfestival.com
HOT AIR RISES
Hot-air balloons drift over snow-covered fields and peaks during the Chama Sno-Ball Balloon Rally, February 23–25. Balloons launch from sites scattered throughout town, lifting off around 7 a.m. (575-756-2184; chamasnoball.com). Bring a date to the Friends and Lovers Balloon Rally in Albuquerque, February 10–11, when more than 130 balloons are expected to lift off from Balloon Fiesta Park. hotairballooning.org
YOUR ART’S DESIRE
The first Santa Fe Artists in Residence program lets you hang with artists as they work. Pop-up studios at 16 locations around town invite you to learn about the artists, their mediums, and their processes—and maybe score a deal. Drop by every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., through February 28, and you might catch Kate O’Donnell at La Posada de Santa Fe, Ricardo Gutierrez at the Inn of the Governors, or the iconic Nocona Burgess at La Fonda on the Plaza. “Our guests are loving it—they come in and they just seize this opportunity to sit and talk with somebody, have a cocktail, and watch them work,” says Jayne Weiske, director of marketing for La Fonda. santafe.org/artistsinresidence
Spark your inner engineer at Da Vinci, the Genius, opening February 10 at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, in Albuquerque. Interact with 75 models of Leonardo’s machine inventions, including early concepts for a car, bicycle, helicopter, glider, and submarine. Explore new revelations on the Mona Lisa in a room-size multimedia display. (505) 841-2800; nmnaturalhistory.org
Galleries and studios in Las Cruces and Old Mesilla indulge visitors in For the Love of Art, a monthlong event celebrating its 20th year. Take the “art ramble” on the first Friday to check out watercolors, oil paintings, and sculptures before a gala celebrating the artist of the year. In two decades, the event’s arms have stretched to include live performances and poetry readings. (575) 525-1955; artformsnm.org
Art engages with issues old and new at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe this month. Without Boundaries: Visual Conversations showcases artists reviving historic art forms in ways that pack a punch, weaving baskets from treaty texts and Native American boarding school photographs or making lanterns from fish skins, a skill nearly lost over the generations. “It’s almost about the importance of forgotten art forms, but presented in a contemporary context,” says chief curator Manuela Well-Off-Man.
The donated archival documents and private art collection of Native activist, lobbyist, and policymaker Suzan Shown Harjo debut in February as well. Her personal connections to iconic artists led to a collection that includes works by Harry Fonseca, Linda Lomahaftewa, Kelly Church, Tony Tiger, Roxanne Swentzell, and Leonard Peltier. The opening reception for both exhibitions is February 16. (505) 983-8900; nmmag.us/iaiaboundaries
HIT THE ROCKS
Dig in to gemstones, rocks, minerals, fossils, and meteorites at the Museum Rocks! Gem and Mineral Show, at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces, February 17–18. About 70 vendors show and sell their best specimens and jewelry-making supplies, plus provide hands-on opportunities and impromptu lectures, while nurturing the next generation of rock hounds with grab bags and giveaways. The $7 admission includes entrance to the museum. (575) 522-1232; lcmuseumrocks.com