High on the list of September events is the annual Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta (Sept. 25-29), five days of cooking demos, wine seminars, tours, tastings, luncheons and dinners from 90 wineries and 75 restaurants. A top foodie event, it culminates with the Grand Tasting (Sept. 28) at the Santa Fe Opera.
Of course there’s the Fiestas de Santa Fe (Sept. 1-8), a two-weekend extravaganza that celebrates the Hispanic culture of Northern New Mexico. Parades, mariachi concerts, lectures, food booths, and Santa Fe’s original “burning man,” Zozobra (Sept. 5).
Jesters, sword fighting, and Celtic games are on the menu at the Santa Fe Renaissance Fair (Sept 21-22) at El Rancho de las Golondrinas living-history museum. But the rancho’s most popular event of the year is the Harvest Festival (Oct. 5-6), featuring grape crushing, ristra stringing, and bread baking in true Spanish colonial style.
If you’re a cyclist who thrives on bananas and power bars, then the Santa Fe Gourmet Classic (Oct. 5) is not for you! This 65-mile cycling event for gastronomes features gourmet breakfast, lunch, and food stops on a course in and around Santa Fe.
It’s the perfect time of year to sample a half-day class at the Santa Fe School of Cooking. Or learn about Cooking with Fresh Herbs (Sept. 10) in a one-night session at the Santa Fe Culinary Academy. If you prefer to leave the cooking to the pros, Estrella del Norte vineyard will have its last winemaker dinner (Sept. 14) of the season.
Out and about…
Brilliant aspen trees are show-stoppers on the hiking trails, with front-row seats offered by Ski Santa Fe (through Oct. 13) or, for those who like to earn the view, on the 13-mile Aspen Vista Trail. Fall foliage offers a good excuse for road trips to the small communities that host their annual studio tours, including Pilar (Sept. 14-15), the High Road to Taos (Sept. 21-22, 28-29), El Rito (Oct. 5-6), or Pecos (Sept. 28-29). In Arroyo Seco, outside Taos, fiber fanatics can enjoy some “Dyeing in the Road” (Sept. 14) by Weaving Southwest.
Road racers will want to try the Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon (Sept. 15) following Old Taos Highway, which features live music en route and benefits the group Global Running Culture. If you’d rather not break a sweat, the region’s premier car show, Santa Fe Concorso (Sept. 27-29), plans vintage “C” and “D” type Jaguars, classic and concept Chevrolet Corvettes, and the 2014 Corvette Stingray among the 100-plus vehicles on display.
Also on display…
Traditional and contemporary art are always on exhibit in Santa Fe! Check out the Collectors Guide for what’s showing at galleries around town, as well as Fourth Friday on Canyon Road and last Friday at the Railyard (Sept. 27). On any given Friday, many galleries open exhibits in the early evening when the weather is fair.
The Museum of International Folk Art is featuring a colorful exhibition of Japanese kites. As part of the New Mexico History Museum’s exhibit Cowboys Real and Imagined, local journalist Robert Nott will screen and discuss John Wayne’s The Cowboys (Sept. 20), filmed partly in New Mexico.
The classical music begins in Santa Fe with the Santa Fe Symphony presenting Showcase of the Stars (Sept. 8), to include Van Cliburn gold medalist Vadym Kholodenko, plus an evening of Mozart, Shostakovich, and Beethoven (Sept. 29). The Santa Fe Concert Association presents celebrated pianist Wu Han (Sept. 16) with husband David Finckel and Philip Setzer of the Grammy-winning Emerson String Quartet. Santa Fe Pro Musica opens its season with pianist and composer Conrad Tao (Sept. 19). performing Bach, Ravel, Rachmaninoff, along with Meredith Monk and original works. A limited-seating dinner with Tao (Sept. 22) is part of the orchestra’s opening weekend. Piano prodigy Yuja Wang plays a concert (Oct. 10) at Lensic Performing Arts, while the Canticum Novum Chorus & Orchestra fall feature choral and orchestral music at their fall concerts (Oct. 5-6).
Globe-trotting excursions include Cape Verde songstress Maria de Barros (Sept. 12) performing her unique blend of traditional Criolu with Latin pop and African soul. The Hungarian State Folk Ensemble brings its authentic folk music and dance (Oct. 3) to Santa Fe. The culture and dance of Argentina is showcased in Te Amo, Argentina (Oct. 11), a multimedia performance combining Andean rhythms with Tango dance and an audiovisual journey by cellist Antonio Lysy. Or visit another culture right here at one of the Pueblo feast days, featuring Harvest and other dances. Times are fluid, but most continue all day long.
Alt-county goddess Neko Case returns to Santa Fe (Sept. 13), as does the ’80s icon Blondie (Sept. 23), reincarnated for one night at the Santa Fe Opera. Santa Fe homeboy Jerry Lopez, who has backed up Ricky Martin and Gloria Estefan, performs songs written largely by his father, Gilbert Lopez Sr. (Sept. 14).
More serious stuff can be heard at the Lannan Foundation’s Cultural Freedom speaker series, to feature activist Tim De Christopher (Sept. 25)—who was jailed for disrupting a government oil and gas lease auction—speaking with novelist Terry Tempest Williams. Environmentalists will remember sustainability pioneer Paul Hawken, who speaks at Lensic Performing Arts (Oct. 8) in a presentation by the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce.