It was the birthday party of the century last Friday at the Santa Fe Convention Center. Some 800 people gathered for food, drink, dancing, and people-watching as New Mexico celebrated 100 years since it became a state on Jan. 6, 1912.
La Fonda was honored to be host of a pre-party reception for VIPs in the Century Club Lounge. It was quite the A list! Among the 150 in attendance were Gov. Susana Martinez, Sen. Jeff Bingaman, Reps. Steve Pearce and Ben Ray Lujan, and a veritable who’s-who of New Mexico movers and shakers from all walks of life. Guests enjoyed complimentary cocktails and delectable bites from La Fonda’s executive culinary team, amid the carved ice sculptures for which we’re known.
We were especially thrilled to see several former Harvey Girls there, wearing their iconic uniforms! They are living representatives of Santa Fe’s past, when La Fonda was a Harvey House that helped usher in the age of Southwest tourism.
But the real focus of the evening was the next hundred years. The governor announced that all proceeds from the evening would help launch the New Mexico Centennial Children’s Legacy Fund. Money raised through the initiative will be given to organizations that help improve the lives of New Mexico’s children.
The ball itself was surely one of the grandest ever held in our state. The dance floor was packed with couples of all ages moving to Hillary Smith and Soul Kitchen. Master of ceremonies Stephen Michael Quezada kept the entertainment lively through the cutting of the state’s birthday cake by the first couple, to the tune of a cha-cha-cha “Happy Birthday.”
The party continues all year with fun events such as the “Get the Picture” photography contest. To enter, shoot your modern take on a historic photo. You’re supposed to guess the locations, but we’ll give you a hint: Photo #26 might picture your favorite Santa Fe hotel. Put your snapshots to work next vacation, and you have a chance at winning $10,000—just about the best present you could ever get for someone else’s birthday.