Children in costume for Fiestas de Taos. Courtesy photo
TAOS—Voted by locals as Taos News’ 2013 “best annual event in Taos County,” Fiestas de Taos revives a centuries-old celebration of Taos, New Mexico’s culture, history and traditions with weekend long events July 19–21 in Taos Plaza.
Known originally as Fiesta de Santa Ana y Santiago, Fiestas de Taos (Taos Fiestas) is a community celebration honoring the two Catholic patron saints of Taos – St. Anne (Santa Ana) and St. Yago (Santiago), celebrated in Taos since the 1600s.
One of the biggest annual summer events in Taos, Fiestas de Taos features three full days of live music, dance, parades, and special presentations along with food and crafts and vendors and activities for children.
“Fiestas de Taos typically sees more than 1,000 attendees annually, and the number increases every year,” said Town of Taos Mayor Darren Cordova, whose band Darren Cordova y Calor, will be performing at the Fiestas. “The Fiestas are a way of not only preserving our rich heritage that has evolved over the centuries, but passing these traditions on to the next generations while sharing them with visitors.”
The Fiestas begin at noon Friday, July 19 with music by Dick Cordova followed by a performance by the Mystic Dance team at 1:30 p.m., and musical performances by The UZ Band, Niños Bailadores, and Catalina Rio Fernandez and Flamenco Nuevo Mexico, among others. A fiesta mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church is 5:30 p.m., followed by a procession with mariachi music at 6:45 p.m. Opening ceremonies begin at 7 p.m. on Taos Plaza.
At 10 a.m. Saturday, July 20 there will be a Children’s Parade on Taos Plaza followed by a full day of fun and live musical performances, ending at 10 p.m. Applications are still being accepted to participate in the Children’s Parade and registration is being held at Enos Garcia Elementary School. Float categories include: float; drill/cheer team; groups; individuals; and pets. Prizes for best float per category are $50 for first place; $25 for second place. Apply online by 5 p.m., July 18.
Then on Sunday, July 21, hear the ethereal sounds of the St. Francis Choir beginning at 9:30 a.m. followed by musical performances from Audrey Travis Trio, and Trio Los Gallos. The Historical Parade leaving from the Taos County Courthouse will begin at noon and end at the U.S. Post Office; followed by music, a special community presentation and closing ceremonies, finishing off the Fiestas at 7 p.m. Registration to participate in the Historical Parade is being accepted until July 18, online. Categories include: float; riding; royalty; and cheer/drill. Prizes will be awarded for best floats.
On Sunday night, Town Manager Oscar Rodriguez will be among several Taos officials to host a farewell gathering for all “Amigos de Taos” – a new incentive where former visitors of Taos and Taoseños who have left Taos are encouraged to revisit the Town. Visitors and Taoseños who have left Taos can register for prizes online at amigosdetaos.com.
For a full schedule of performances, events, times, and to register to participate in the parades, visit fiestasdetaos.com. All events are free.
In honor of Taos’ two patron saints, Taos Pueblo is celebrating its annual Santiago Feast Day on Thursday, July 25 and Santa Ana Feast Day on Friday, July 26 with ceremonial Corn Dances around 1:30 p.m. on each day. Because Santa Ana Feast Day and Santiago Feast Day are both sacred events, cameras are not allowed during Corn Dances or other ceremonial activities. Taos Pueblo is located at 120 Veterans Highway in Taos.