Events and Festivals
There is always something to do in Central New Mexico! With thematic festivals and multi-cultural events at every turn, you will never have a shortage of ways to experience the heart of New Mexico. Events vary from the local brewpub crawl to a pop-up art market at a favorite coffee shop to full-scale cosplay at a community park.
National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show
The National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show returns to the Sandia Resort and Casino Events Center every March. This unique show attracts attendees and buyers from around the globe and more than 10,000 general public attendance. Exhibitors in the show can take advantage of this opportunity to meet and greet new buyers, introduce their line of products or services, and reaffirm their commitments to their current customers who will be attending the show.
Southwest Chocolate & Coffee Fest
Every march, over 120 vendors showcasing, sampling and selling chocolates, candies, fresh roasted coffee, cakes, teas, beer, wine and much more, this is the largest chocolate and coffee consumer marketplace in the nation. Over 17,000 chocolate & coffee lovers come to eat, drink, shop, discover, dance and learn. Professional cooking demos, coffee seminars, live music, chocolate eating contests, cow milking demonstrations, and baking contests (open to all), provide plenty of non-stop entertainment. Free bouncers and face painting for kids and something to satisfy the chocolate and coffee lover in us all.
The Gathering Of Nations Pow Wow
Nearly 3,000 American Indian dancers and singers representing more than 700 tribes of Canada and the United Stated gather in Albuquerque on the 4th weekend every April for the annual Gathering of Nations Pow Wow. Activities and events include competition Indian singing and dancing. Indian traders market, and a street fair on Pow Wow Alley, filled with aisles of shopping, and native foods and music. The Indian Trader's Market offers a very special shopping experience and exhibition of Native artifacts from throughout the Americas featuring over 800 artists, crafters and traders, and the crowning of Miss Indian World. All events are open to the public, and photos are encouraged.
Placitas Studio Tour
over sixty artists will open their studio doors and share with you the fascinating spaces where the artwork is created. Inspiring and enriching the growing cultural community of Placitas, this free, self-guided, self-driven tour once again has many new artists that add to the already wide array of art that is offered during this two-day event.
Every May, Casa San Ysidro and the Old Church of Corrales celebrate the living traditions of New Mexico. This event honors Puebloan, Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo influences on the arts and histories that make up our state’s identity. Join local artisans demonstrating weaving and spinning, traditional blacksmithing, straw inlay, silver filigree, retablo painting, and much more. The day is also filled with performances by heritage musicians and entertainers.
PORK & BREW
The 15th Annual Pork & Brew, New Mexico's ORIGINAL Food Festival, will return to the Santa Ana Star Center, June 29-July1 . Experience the many varieties of BBQ and the "low and slow" cooking process that separates real BBQ from backyard grilling. Pork & Brew brings together the best food vendors from around the region, this three-day festival featuring BBQ, local craft beer, live music and interactive family activities will be one of the biggest events of the summer. Galloping Grace Youth Ranch will be returning to the event, showcasing a petting zoo and pig races throughout the weekend.
A multi-day festival held every September at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Enjoy three stages of entertainment from around the world alongside some of the best local and regional talent.
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.
The Village of Corrales
Corrales is distinguished by its broad green pastures and orchards, its rich historic and artistic character, and of course the sounds and scents of roosters, cows, horses and sheep. At the end of September, the Village of Corrales, along with the Old Church and Casa San Ysidro Museum, promote the history and character of their community through a yearly educational and recreational event that showcases the local agriculture, merchants, arts, music, performing arts and historic culture throughout the Village, all accessible on our transit system – hay wagons!
National Public Lands Day
National Public Lands day is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands, held annually on the fourth Saturday in September. NPLD brings together hundreds of thousands of individual and organizational volunteers to help restore America’s public lands. The event began in 1979, with the Bureau of Land Management as one of the original sponsors. Sandoval County is home to a range of public land offerings, including parts of the Santa Fe National Forest, Bandelier National Monument, and San Pedro Parks Wilderness Area.
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
For more than three decades, guests from all over the world come to Albuquerque each October to celebrate ballooning at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta™. This is the largest ballooning event on earth, the most photographed event on earth, and the largest annual international event held in the United States.
The New Mexico skies are painted as hundreds of balloons lift off from Albuquerque's Balloon Fiesta Park. Nothing rivals the power of Mass Ascension on crisp early mornings as these graceful giants leave the ground to take their place in the cerulean desert sky. For ballooning fans worldwide, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta™ is a pilgrimage. There's something for everyone to enjoy . . . whimsical special shapes filled with equal parts of hot air and wonder, and Balloon Glows that create a magical night landscape for spectators to wander. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta™ will leave you awestruck and wanting more.
Holiday Luminarias in Old Town
The glowing brown sacks that adorn Albuquerque walkways, churches and homes each holiday season are called luminarias and date back more than 300 years. The New Mexican tradition began when the Spanish villages along the Rio Grande displayed the unique and easy to make Christmas lanterns, called luminarias to welcome the Christ child into the world. A traditional luminaria is a brown paper bag, which has been folded at the top, filled will a couple cups of sand and a votive candle.