Singers perform Saturday evening for ‘Opera On The Rocks – Zarzuelas’ at Bandelier. Courtesy/NPS
Although Bandelier’s 100th birthday was in February, and the National Park Service Centennial was in August, the celebrations continue with more events in the next weeks.
This Saturday, Sept. 24, is the annual Public Lands Day, which is fee free at National Park Service areas nationwide. At Bandelier, that means that there are no entrance fees that day at the main part of the park or at the Tsankawi section.
In addition, the evening of Sept. 24 is the fifth annual Opera on the Rocks, a special musical event held outdoors at the amphitheater in the park’s Juniper Campground. Five very fine singers will offer excerpts from Zarzuelas, popular operas from Spain.
Participants need to catch the shuttle buses from Sullivan Field in Los Alamos or the White Rock Visitor Center at 4 p.m., and are welcome to bring their own portable chairs if they wish. The event includes food and beverages from local vendors, and is co-sponsored by Bandelier, the Los Alamos Guild of the Guilds of the Santa Fe Opera, and Atomic City Transit. Anyone camping that night in Juniper Campground is invited to attend for free.
Saturday, Oct. 8, there will be two other annual events at Bandelier – the Fall Festival and International Observe the Moon Night. Throughout the summer the park Visitor Center hosts artists and craftspeople from various nearby Pueblos demonstrating their work. On Fall Festival, many of these artists all come on one day, visit, chat with visitors about their techniques, and sell their crafts. A Pueblo dance group is also scheduled to present traditional dances. Beyond the usual park entry pass, there is no extra fee to attend the Festival.
That night the park will join astronomers across the globe for International Observe the Moon Night. Weather permitting, rangers will provide telescopes and lots of lunar information at the Juniper Campground Amphitheater. Moon enthusiasts who can’t come to the park will find that using binoculars for observing the moon from home works very well too, as long as they have a place without much background light, and the clouds cooperate.
In addition to these events, Bandelier will be offering ranger programs on several upcoming evenings. On Friday, September 23, the program will be “Be Bear Aware”, highlighting safe ways to enjoy the outdoors, protecting yourself and the wildlife.
Friday, Sept. 30, the topic will be “Beyond the Main Loop Trail”, discussing trails into other parts of the park. Oct. 1 there is a Night Sky Program, with an astronomy talk followed by viewing celestial features through a variety of telescopes. All of these programs will be presented at 7 p.m. at the Juniper Campground amphitheater.