View From the Plaza

Outdoor Festivals Continue into the Fall in Santa Fe

The fiery burning of Zozobra promises to wash away the year’s cares – the annual tradition is part of the famous Santa Fe Fiesta that brings residents out for two weekends of mariachi concerts, a parade on the Plaza, and a ball (Gran Baile) at the Santa Fe Convention Center.  For a quieter event on the 9th fairway of the Sunrise Golf Course at Las Campanas, the Santa Fe Concorso brings rare and exotic cars to Santa Fe for a third year. Navigate New Mexico’s scenic highways with the Concorso crew—this year the premier automotive gathering added a new public participation event, inviting motoring enthusiast to join a series of three scenic road trips, each with lunch at a special destination.

Road-trippers heading toward Taos might want to stop at one of a flurry of studio tour weekends coming up: in the scenic towns of Pilar, Pojoaque, and Abiquiu, as well as in Taos. Taos also holds its annual Fall Arts Festival, consisting of both a juried and an open art show. Also on the High Road, the new Peñasco Theatre offers a slate of provocative live performances.

Shakespeare gets a shake-up in four evenings of comic highlights from the Bard’s popular plays, organized around different themes. Shake Scenes are performed by an ensemble of Santa Fe’s leading Shakespearean artists, followed by an optional conversation with the cast at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design.

The Lensic Performing Arts Center offers other entertainment highlights that include comic Mike Birbiglia, who brings his one-man show My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend to Santa Fe. The Capitol Steps perform their musical political satire. The traveling EntreFlamenco Company will mount a full-length flamenco dance performance. And the Cirque Chinois from the People’s Republic of China performs death-defying stunts in their first U.S. tour.

In music, Wilco takes the stage with Jonathan Richman at the Santa Fe Opera Theatre in support of his Grammy-nominated release The Whole Love. Bonnie Raitt, Ryan Bingham, and Pat Metheny are also coming to town. Appearing this month at Santa Fe Sol are The Heavy with The Silent Comedy, Rodney Crowell, Henry Rollins, The Psychedelic Furs, and Chris Smither. Passion Pit plays the Santa Fe Convention Center. And New Orleans’ Big Freedia brings her gender-bending Bounce music to the City Different.

The classical music season opens this month with a program of Rossini, Haydn, and Beethoven from Santa Fe Pro Musica, and the Santa Fe Concert Association presents Joseph Illick and Richard Wood, who will lead a guided tour through the mysterious history of the violin. The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra opens their season with Strauss and Tchaikovsky, featuring the Naumburg Violin 2012 prize winner.

The big art events this fall are the exhibition that replaced SITE Santa Fe’s Biennial, “More Real? Art in the Age of Truthiness,” and the multi-venue extravaganza ISEA 2012 in Albuquerque, a conference and series of exhibits exploring “machine wilderness,” a “re-visioning” of art, technology and nature.

For the truly hardy, the multi-state Santa Fe Trail Bicycle Trek departs on an 1,100-mile journey this month—although riders can choose to do just the first four-day trek to Trinidad, Colorado. This low-cost, nonprofit, fully supported camping trip includes most meals and focuses on teaching the history of the Santa Fe Trail.

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