Jump into Summer in Santa Fe County

Summer’s in full swing, and you don’t want to miss a thing. From world-class opera in a stunning outdoor theater, and an evening of marvelous mariachi, to exhilarating river rafting adventures, your days and nights in Santa Fe County will be spectacular. Celebrate the 4th of July with a full day of family-fun festivities, from the annual Pancakes on the Plaza in Santa Fe to the Annual Independence Day parade in the historic town of Madrid. The season wraps up with the 100th Annual Burning of Zozobra, and this year’s birthday bash will make history. Be there!

Songs Beneath the Stars

The Santa Fe Opera's 67th Festival Season is underway, with mesmerizing performances of Verdi’s “La Traviata, Mozart’s “Don Giovanni;” Strauss’ “Der Rosenkavalier;” Donizetti’s “The Elixir of Love” and the world premiere of “The Righteous,” by composer Gregory Spears and U.S. Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winner Tracy K. Smith.   The Washington Post recently hailed the celebrated opera as the “nation's most spectacular (and surprisingly temperate) outdoor opera festival” in its list of this summer’s best classical music concerts. The season runs June 28 through August 24. If you’re new to the Santa Fe Opera, read our helpful tips for the pre-performance tailgating tradition and learn about Backstage Tours, Family Nights, Apprentice Showcase Scenes and other exciting opera events.


A Fabulous 4th of July

Pack your red, white and blues to pay tribute to America’s birthday at an exciting array of community celebrations. Start the day with hot cakes and syrup at the 47th Annual Pancakes on the Plaza, a cherished tradition. In addition to platefuls of pancakes, music from the 44th Army Band New Mexico National Guard, Shaggy Peak String Band and other groups, festivities include an arts and crafts show and a vintage car.

Thursday, July 4th, 7 a.m. to noon, Santa Fe Plaza


Independence Day is a big deal and a longstanding tradition in the small town of Madrid, where the High Noon Parade on Main Street is followed by the Pie Walk at Connie's Photo Park, where you’ll have a chance to win America’s classic dessert—homemade pie from local bakers. Get there early for another slice of Americana, the annual 4th of July softball game between the Madrid Miners and the East Mountain Riffraff.

Game time is 10 a.m. in the Oscar Huber Memorial Ballpark, which was built in 1920 as New Mexico’s first lighted ballpark.

End the holiday with a colorful celebration at the free annual City of Santa Fe Fourth of July event at Santa Fe Place Mall, hosted by Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe.  Dance to live music from local bands, festive food available for purchase from Food Trucks and, as dark descends around 9:30 p.m., be awed by a blaze of fantastic colors as fireworks light up the sky.

Starting at 4 p.m.- 10p.m. on Thursday, July 4th.

Art in Nature

It’s hard to miss the whimsical, origami-inspired flying birds, butterflies, flowers and other sculptures in the outdoor Origami in the Garden, created by Santa Fe artists Kevin and Jennifer Box. Located along the historic Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway (Highway 14), the striking monumental sculptures are part of FLORIGAMI, the Box’s new traveling exhibition. This year marks Origami in the Garden’s  10th anniversary traveling the nation. Summer is the perfect season to wander through the garden and admire the artistry influenced by the ancient Japanese art of folding paper.

Open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., May 13 through November 1


Ride the Rivers

From the thrills of whitewater rafting to the joys of a serene family float, northern New Mexico rivers provide endless river-rafting adventures. A day in the spray on a challenging whitewater trip led by expert guides leads you down the mighty Rio Grande, the longest river in the Land of Enchantment. Or set out on the Rio Chama for a guided multi-day trip that includes camping in gorgeous backcountry. You could just kick back on a lazy float down the river and savor the sweetness of summer. Check our website for premier river rafting adventures in northern New Mexico.


Waterfall Escape

For a cool summer escape, head to Nambé Falls and Lake Recreation Area, where a majestic waterfall tumbles from 100 feet through a sheer-walled gorge. Part of Nambé Pueblo, the recreation area is open for camping, hiking and fishing, with an entry fee. There’s also a picnic area. Two short trails, each a quarter-mile long, provide easy access to the falls. One route leads up a hill to magnificent views of the falls from above, where natural pools are popular fishing spots and great places to play in the cool mountain water.  The other trail crosses a river and takes you to a beach area by the lowest pool of the fall. Water shoes are essential for this trail. After hiking to the falls, rent a kayak onsite or bring your paddleboard and explore the lake, surrounded by the beauty of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.


Summer of Music

The Santa Fe Summer Scene delivers free music to the ears of anyone who loves folk, rock, blues, jazz, Zydeco and many other genres. From June through the end of August, 56 concerts are slated at Santa Fe Plaza, Santa Fe Railyard and other venues around Santa Fe County, presented by Lensic 360 and Lensic Performing Arts Center.  The line-up includes acclaimed national artists and beloved New Mexico musicians. Find all the info you need here:


100 Years of Old Man Gloom

Zozobra turns 100 this year and his birthday bash is underway. Three dozen artists have created hand-painted, four-foot statues of Zozobra, in honor of the 100th burning of this 50-foot tall menacing marionette that blazes into ash, burning away all the year’s gloom.  After appearing in various locations throughout the Santa Fe and the state, the colorful statues of Zozobra have come together in a group exhibition at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center, where they’ll remain through Labor Day. Tickets for The 100th Burning of Zozobra are on sale now. Purchase Your Tickets Early Before They Sell Out!

Friday, August 30, Fort Marcy Park gates open at 4 p.m.

Mariachi Magic

The 312th Santa Fe Fiesta celebration takes place on the Santa Fe Plaza August 31through September 8, with a vibrant open air market of handcrafted Spanish Colonial arts and craft treasures, artist demos, live music and many other events.  As part of this community celebration, the Santa Fe Opera lends its stage for the evening to the magical sounds and sights of Mariachi Extravaganza. This beloved annual event will lift your heart and soul with the joyous sounds and sights of stamping feet, swirling colorful dresses, and blazing trumpets. Renowned award-winning mariachi artists will share the stage with rising stars for a passionate performance of traditional, contemporary and classical mariachi.

Saturday, August 31, 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.



Upcoming Events

Medieval Merriment

Step into the Kingdom of Golondrinas for the annual Santa Fe Renaissance Faire, where knights, kings, queens and juggling clowns will entertain you, as musicians play medieval music. Enjoy spirited dancing, compete in a costume contest, and cheer on contestants in the Armored Combat Tournament. You can purchase medieval arts and crafts and savor fine fare and libations.

Saturday, September 14 and Sunday, September 15, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at El Rancho de las Golondrinas living history museum

Tickets are sold online only, not at the door. Purchase your tickets early before they sell out.


Chile & Grapes

New Mexico is the country’s oldest wine-growing region and producer of world-famous red and green chile, The annual Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta celebrates them both, pairing fabulous food with fine wine. Start working on your appetite now so you’ll ready for this long-running celebration, which includes wine dinners at acclaimed restaurants around the County, tastings with top chefs from around the country, wine auctions and the Grand Tasting, a chance to sample world-class food and wine.

Wednesday, September 25 through Sunday, September 29, various venues


Balloon Bonanza

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is the world’s largest and most magnificent hot air balloon event. The sight of 600 hot air balloons in every color, and in beloved special shapes such as a flying cow, bees and Darth Vader, is sheer delight. Get your tickets now for this popular event and prepare for your spirit to soar.

Friday October 5 through Sunday, October 13, 2024


To explore more Santa Fe County events, visit: https://santafenmtrue.com/events.

See you this summer in Santa Fe County! Visit SantaFeNMtrue.com and be sure to follow us on social media.