Updated July 31, 2006Santa Fe Fiesta - Like many things in Santa Fe, Fiesta represents something old, time-honored and sacred. It is also about fun, food, music and just a little weirdness. Originally begun in 1712 to commemorate the return of the Spanish to Santa Fe in 1692 after 12 years of exile following the Pueblo Revolt, Fiesta has both grown and remained true to its cultural roots. This year Fiesta will be celebrated from September 2-10 with a long calendar of activities. During the week there will be arts and craft fairs, religious processions led by the oldest Madonna in the U.S., La Conquistadora, the burning of Zozobra (a 40 foot tall paper effigy known as 'Old Man Gloom), the Children's Pet Parade, Mariachi concerts, melodrama performances, the Fiesta Ball, the Historical Hysterical parade, an audience with the Fiesta Queen, endless food and music under the Gazebo on the Plaza and general revelry throughout town. Underlying all of the festivities is a celebration of thanksgiving that the first Fiesta represented. This is the country's oldest continuously celebrated community event and a time when Santa Fe honors its past, present and future. For event information and background, see the Santa Fe Fiesta Website
Thirsty Ear Festival - What started as a small but hearty band of roots-music lovers getting together for a couple of nights of performances in 1999 has turned into a weekend event filled with bands from all over the country and revelers from all over the world. The get together is cast in the finest traditions of grass roots festivals; it started very small, has steadily grown in popularity, has increased the quality and quantity of its musical offerings, retains a loyal following, and gets better every year.
This year's Festival will again be held at the Eaves Movie Ranch, just outside Santa Fe, on September 1, 2 and 3, 2006. The movie ranch is like walking into a 19th century western town and has been the setting for numerous motion pictures. In addition to three days of internationally acclaimed roots music on three stages all weekend long, the festival offers camping, tasty BBQ, local microbrews, fine wine, and crafts. Face painting, arts & crafts, puppet shows and other kids' activities will be hosted by the Santa Fe Children's Museum and Pink Elephant Theater.
Among those scheduled to appear this year are: Patty Griffin, Greg Brown, The Be Good Tanyas, Honeyboy Edwards, Louisiana Red & Bob Corritore, Po' Girl, Chipper Thomson & The Feast, The Zydeco Steppers, Alex Maryol Band and many more. Friday night's concert is the Festival's annual Food Drive and a bargain with an admission price of $1 plus 2 cans of food. Otherwise, tickets are $55 for an adult weekend pass or $36 a day. Information and tickets are available at The Festival Website or phone 505-473-5723.
Undiscovered: Ortiz Mountains Educational Preserve - Santa Fe is a portal to the great outdoors and most visitors to the city understandably focus their activities in the Sangre de Cristo Range of the Rocky Mountains which jut up right on the edge of town. To the south of the city about 25 miles, however, are the Ortiz Mountains, a beautiful low range that seems to catch the best light of morning and evening and is worth discovering. The Ortiz Mountains were once home to the largest load gold mine in the Southwest. Today, a small, 1,350 acre, portion of this mountain chain has been set aside for public exploration, and it is full of flora, fauna, geology, and history.
Managed by the Santa Fe Botanical Garden, the Ortiz Mountains Educational Preserve (OMEP) is home to dozens of different native flowering plants, bear, coyote, over two dozen species of butterfly, a large bat population, and over 80 different bird species. The mountains themselves were formed by subterranean volcanic activity which peaked 29 million years ago. At one point these hills were estimated to have been 4,700 feet higher. The story of the people in the Ortiz is a story of gold, pure and simple. The mountains were home to the first major gold rush in what is now the U.S.
While the Rocky Mountains in New Mexico are spectacular and worth any time spent there, this lesser known portion of public land holds its own charms and beauty. It is most often overlooked and can legitimately be called "undiscovered" but is valued for those very reasons. The OMEP is open to the public on most weekends but reservations are required and may be arranged by calling the Santa Fe Botanical Gardens at 505-428-1684 or by visiting their website.
Courtesty: Santa Fe Convention and Visitors Bureau