Tourism Department Unveils Bounty Of Fall Festivals

Scene from Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium Oct. 12-14 at Ruidoso Downs Race Track. Courtesy photo
Scene from Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium Oct. 12-14 at Ruidoso Downs Race Track. Courtesy photo
NMTD News:
SANTA FE — As the leaves change color and harvest season kicks up, rural New Mexico communities prepare for one of the busiest travel times of the year.
In honor of the upcoming fall season and all of the unique opportunities to celebrate around the state, the New Mexico Tourism Department is launching the “New Mexico True Fall Festivals and Events” page on, making it easier than ever for New Mexicans and visitors to find a street fair, art festival, concert or fiesta that piques their interest.
“Everybody loves a small town party, especially in New Mexico,” Tourism Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Latham said. “This is the time of year that our favorite foods can be found in abundance and our rich cultural heritage shines bright.”
In 2017, 8% of all overnight visitors and 5% of all day trip visitors indicated that they had attended a fair or festival while traveling in New Mexico, compared to the U.S. norm of 4% each, respectively.
With more than 100 fairs and festivals happening around New Mexico this fall, here are some of the highlights:
Chile and Cheese Festival in Roswell (September 28-29): The aroma of roasted chile fills the streets as you walk down Main Street and sample these two staples of New Mexican cuisine from a collection of local vendors.
Cowboy Symposium in Ruidoso (October 12-14): Beans, biscuits and cobbler, oh my! Dig in to some down home cookin’ served straight out of the back of a chuckwagon. After you eat, settle in for Cowboy poets, western vendors and musicians, and the kid’s rodeo.
Cultural Heritage
San Geronimo Feast Day in Taos (September 29-30): The annual festival celebrating the patron saint of the Pueblo blends ancient culture and Catholicism in a beautiful ceremony open to visitors. Enjoy hospitality at it’s finest, make new friends and soak in the tradition at this UNESCO World Heritage site.
Dia de Muertoes Art Festival in Deming (November 3): Walk down the street and let your eyes feast on the beautiful arts and crafts celebrating this cultural connection that crosses the border. Enjoy Ballet Folklorico and listen to the festive sounds of the Mariachi Jam Session as you honor loved ones passed.
Arts & Crafts
Aspencade Arts & Crafts Festival in Red River (September 21 – 23): Set up camp in this adorable mountain town as dozens of artists display their handmade crafts, jewelry, home furnishings, food, art, pottery, and specialty goods. Live folk music and spectacular fall foliage can be found all weekend long.
Lumberjacks & Fall Art Show in Cloudcroft (September 15): Fill up with a pancake breakfast before viewing this outstanding display of sportsmanship! Between ax throwing and chainsaw competitions, browse unique arts and crafts and enjoy plenty of family-friendly activities in the mountains of southern New Mexico.
Family Fun
Santa Fe Renaissance Faire (September 15 and 16): Ladies, Dames, Kings and Lords will all enjoy this trip back in time, complete with a live unicorn and Fairy Village. Catch a jousting tournament or sample delicious foods and sip some mead before you ride off on a Spanish Galleon. Huzzah!
Enchanted Skies Star Party in Magdalena (October 9 – 13): Head out on the New Mexico True Dark Skies Trail to see what makes this tiny town a world-renowned destination for star parties. Relax, look up and let your eyes adjust to millions of celestial beings as you settle into the darkness around you and breathe in the magnificence of the sky.
Ancient Way Fall Festival in El Morro (October 1): You’re invited to elebrate the harvest with pumpkin carving, crafts, music, family fun and ancient traditions. Sample desserts and bring something sweet home to commemorate your time with the communities of NW New Mexico.
El Rancho de las Golondrinas Harvest Festival in Santa Fe (October 6-7): Voted the second-best Fall Harvest Festival in the nation by USA Today readers, you can taste syrup from the sorghum mill, make cider by cranking an apple press, stomp grapes and make cornhusk dolls.
New this Year
The Whiskey Classic in Santa Fe (October 13): Explore the set of the most famous western films in history to discover a love for whiskey, scotch and bourbon you didn’t know you had. Sample and learn from distilleries, breweries, wineries and mixologists with live western music in the background.
The Magnificent Cider Festival in Santa Fe (October 20): Spend the day sampling New Mexico hard ciders as you travel back to the Wild West via a working film set. Chuckwagons, western vendors, and kid-friendly activities complete the experience for the whole family.
For the complete list of New Mexico True Fall Festivals and Events head to
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