View From the Plaza

Time to Head Outdoors in Santa Fe

Outdoor festivals: Sample a true western tradition at the 64th annual Rodeo de Santa Fe, with a slate of cowboy fun from Mutton Bustin’ to Barrel Racing, a carnival midway and beer garden. The party kicks off with the annual parade in downtown Santa Fe. If you’re feeling a little more international, our annual Greek Festival offers the perfect excuse to eat, drink, and make merry while enjoying lively cultural entertainment. And Santa Fe Gay Pride week throws some outrageous soirees, parties and the classic parade.

Free bandstand concerts begin the week of June 21 and continue every weekday night through Aug. 23 on the Santa Fe Plaza. Check out the full schedule of hot, local and national acts. St. Johns College also offers free outdoor concerts every Wednesday evening on its athletic field, where you can bring a picnic, or buy food and drink from catering trucks. If you prefer your free music with a draft beer in hand, arrive early for free concerts at the Railyard to get a place on the patio of Second Street Brewing.

Home improvers will love the Santa Fe Botanical Garden’s garden tours, which draw hundreds of people for sneak peeks at showcase gardens in different Santa Fe neighborhoods. Private “Pequeno” tours can also be arranged for smaller groups. If you love your nature wild, the Cerrillos Hills State Park on the Turquoise Trail offers programs on cougars and snakes this month, plus a solstice moon hike. Another rustic setting south of town is El Rancho de las Golondrinas, a living history museum that hosts the annual Santa Fe Wine Festival and the Herb & Lavender Fair, celebrating one of New Mexico’s favorite but lesser-known crops.

Bike fanatics can dream and ogle at the 2013 Motorado Motorcycle Classic Show, a few miles north in Eldorado. And don’t miss a community tradition, Pancakes on the Plaza, to start your Independence Day holiday.

Food and farming: Enjoy Southwest cooking classes taught by the Santa Fe School of Cooking in a grape setting at Estrella del Norte Vineyard. Or leave the cooking to professionals for one of their Vineyard Dinners prepared by top Santa Fe chefs. Beer lovers can pair their favorite frothy refreshment with fiery New Mexican foods at SummerBrew, courtesy of the New Mexico Brewers Guild.

If you’re a do-it-yourselfer who wants to see how it’s done here, classes in organic beer brewing, herbal remedies, arid land restoration, organic pest control, and permaculture are on this month’s community homesteading calendar.

At the museums: Explore traditional Japanese kitemaking in a colorful exhibit opening at the Museum of International Folk Art, Tako Kichi: Kite Crazy in Japan. Opening day features lessons in kitemaking and flying. The Spanish Colonial Arts Society opens an exhibition of Peruvian art never before seen by the public, a gift from the estate of a former Peruvian prime minister and his wife. Video artist Peter Sarkisian is at the New Mexico Museum of Art. And you can hunt for an art book treasure at the New Mexico Museum of Art’s Annual Book Sale on Father’s Day weekend, including original works of art, posters and postcards.

Art and music: Even the arts head outdoors this month, as the heralded opera season opens with The Marriage of Figaro, plus a weekend of parties. Visit the studios of 43 Santa Fe artists during the annual Studio Tour. And check out the juried arts and crafts show on the Plaza benefitting Challenge New Mexico, as well as regular crafts shows from the Northern New Mexico Fine Arts and Crafts Guild and the Santa Fe Artists Market, at Cathedral Park next to La Fonda.

Performance and film: The Jewel Box Cabaret puts on a gender-bending variety show with six “gender illusionists” and a diva. Helen Mirren reprises her Academy Award-winning role as Queen Elizabeth II in the West End production of The Audience for the National Theatre of London Live in HD at the Lensic Performing Arts Center.

Speakers: The Santa Fe Institute presents free public lectures on “The Brain and the Law: How Neuroscience Will Shift Blame” and “Why Is Time a One-Way Street?” For even more heady fare, St. Johns College offers free public lectures on “Reductionism, Naturalism, and Undecidability,” “Humanity Exists in a State of Rupture from the World: Hegel, the Fall, and Spirit’s Alienation from Nature,” and “The Tolstoy Family Story Contest.” History authors Toni Gibson and Sharon Snyder speak on “The Manhattan Project in Los Alamos: An Eyewitness Perspective” in a free brownbag lecture at the New Mexico History Museum.

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