Santa Fe is so alluring; you never really need a reason to visit. But our annual events are extraordinarily unique and they bring guests back year after year. Browse the list by month below to find out what’s happening when you’ll be in town.
Santa Fe Rodeo Grounds, 3237 Rodeo Rd.
From barrel racing to bareback and bull riding, this rodeo, held in late June, has it all and it’s been roping the hearts of cowboys and rodeo fans since it began in 1949. Don’t forget to wear your ten-gallon hats and custom cowboy boots. Aimed at families, there’s also a Mutton Bustin’ event for kids, a carnival midway, a parade and plenty of food and souvenirs.
Santa Fe’s annual Gay Pride celebration takes place in late June. The festival brings together gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and their friends and families. Festivities include a parade, information and networking booths and an art show and sale featuring work that reflects the GLBT commmunity.
Milner Plaza on Museum Hill, Camino Lejo
Artists from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe trek to Santa Fe to sell their weavings, woodcarvings, pottery, paintings, beadwork, jewelry and so much more at the country’s largest international folk art market. Whatever language you speak, this extraordinary event, held in mid-July, will move you to marvel at the range of ingenious creativity at work in the world. There’s no better city to host the market than Santa Fe, the only place in the U.S. designated by U.N.E.S.C.O. as a Creative City of Design & Folk Art.
Santa Fe Plaza
The annual Traditional Spanish Market, a popular Santa Fe event, features an impressive array of santos (depictions of saints), tinwork, textiles, furniture and more, all handcrafted by New Mexican artists using traditional tools and techniques. The summer market takes place in late July on the Plaza and the winter market is held in December in downtown Santa Fe.
The annual Contemporary Hispanic Market, the largest Hispanic art event in the country, features innovative work by more than 100 artists drawing from their Hispanic heritage and New Mexico traditions. The summer market is held on Lincoln Avenue near the Plaza at the same time the Traditional Spanish Market takes place in July. For more information, go to http://contemporaryhispanicmarket.com.
Santa Fe Plaza
Don’t miss this world-famous market, held toward the end of August, if you’re a fan of Native American art and culture. More than 1,000 artists sell their pottery, weaving, jewelry, basketry and other traditional work and demonstrate their time-honored techniques on the Plaza. Fill up on fry bread, roasted corn and Navajo tacos as well as other foods of the Southwest as you shop and enjoy Pueblo dances, live music and other entertainment. Get there early because this market typically draws 100,000 visitors from around the globe.
El Rancho de las Golondrinas
334 Los Pinos Rd.
Join the crowds as they cheer on jousting, sword fighting and Celtic games. Wear your Renaissance finery and compete in a clothing contest. Enjoy entertainment and buy shields, blades, cloaks and turkey legs from vendors. You’ll feast and frolic during this mid-September community fair celebrating the days of yore.
Santa Fe Plaza and various venues
The streets are filled with joyous shouts of “Viva la Fiesta” during early September, when the oldest community event in the U.S. takes place. The week-long festivities commemorate the reoccupation of Santa Fe led by Don Diego de Vargas in 1692, a dozen years after the Pueblo Indian Revolt. The city pulls out all the stops for this annual celebration, starting with the Burning of Zozobra, the dramatic torching of a 49-foot tall marionette that groans and grimaces as he goes up in flames and fireworks at Fort Marcy Park, burning everyone’s troubles from the past year. His ending marks the beginning of Fiesta, filled with music, dance, food, the beloved Children’s Pet Parade, religious ceremonies and more. Blending pageantry with revelry and treasured traditions, Fiesta is a favorite time for visitors and locals alike!
For 10 years, the Santa Fe Film Festival took place in early December. In 2010, it moves to October, continuing to feature innovative programing. The festival showcases films made in the Southwest as well as independent American-made narrative films, films made outside the U.S., documentaries and art films celebrating the creative spirit. With a full schedule of workshops, panels, parties, awards and more, the Santa Fe Film Festival has become an exciting and popular film event that appeals to professionals and fans alike.
Santa Fe Community Convention Center
201 W. Marcy St.
Start your holiday shopping on Thanksgiving Weekend with treasures created by Native American artists from around the country who participate in the annual Santa Fe Indian Market each summer. Presented by the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, the producers of Indian Market, this Winter Showcase features one-of-a-kind pieces by acclaimed Native artists, including Indian Market award winners. Special Sneak Preview takes place Friday evening.
Palace of the Governors
105 E. Palace Ave.
A Santa Fe holiday event each mid-December, this traditional Spanish play presents the plight of Mary and Joseph as they searched for lodgings in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve. The characters set off from the Palace of the Governors, joined by crowds from the community, and walk in a procession around the Plaza before returning to the Palace, where refreshments are served.