Going Native in Santa Fe

If you’re planning a trip to Santa Fe, here’s an unusual suggestion to make your experience truly authentic: get out of town.

Photo courtesy of Santa Fe Convention and Visitors Bureau. Copyright SFCVB 2012. All rights reserved.

Don’t get me wrong. Santa Feans love our visitors. And while we can’t wait to show you around our Plaza and quaint historic center, we also want you to experience a soul-stirring adventure around Santa Fe. That means venturing just outside Santa Fe to a nearby Native American pueblo.

Locals and visitors alike will tell you visiting a Native American pueblo is an experience that defies explanation, but I’ll try anyway. New Mexico’s Native American pueblos are the oldest tribal communities in the country. So when you visit one of Santa Fe’s neighboring pueblos, you’re stepping into living history.

Native American pueblos preserve the tradition of honoring spirit, earth, and all living things. You can feel it. I know every time I walk the sunny packed dirt sidewalks of Taos Pueblo I feel connected to something greater than me. And when I see the sun sparkle off the beaded headdresses of the dancers, I feel I am sharing the spirit and traditions like someone standing in the same spot a hundred years before. It’s just that powerful.

Of the 19 Native American pueblos in New Mexico eight are located within a short drive of Santa Fe. Although each pueblo has its own distinct traditions, customs, history and native dress, they all have celebrations. At a pueblo’s “Feast Day” you’ll be immersed in centuries-old rituals, spectacular dancing (the renowned Santo Domingo Corn Dance includes up to 1,000 dancers) soulful singing, and beautiful native attire.

Photo courtesy of SWAIA (Southwest Association of Indian Arts). Copyright SWAIA and SFCVB 2012. All rights reserved.

Feast Days are open to the public, and in addition to the traditional pageantry often include cultural activities, food and arts and crafts vendors – be still my shop-a-holic heart. My friend explained it best, “I will never forget watching the dancers, from little ones to elders, and seeing their pride of their people and culture.”

Feast Days bring to life Native American heritage, as a visitors we have the honor of sharing authentic sacred traditions. The celebrations provide a way of giving praise and thanks for life of their ancestors. With that in mind, consider these tips for enjoying your visit to a pueblo, while honoring the sacred rituals:

1. Stay in the area designated for the feast day or event. Families still live in the pueblos, so enter a pueblo home as you would any other: by invitation only.

2. Ceremonial dances are part of a religious ceremony. Do not applaud after a dance or interrupt or talk to dancers before, during or after a dance. Ceremonies should be watched quietly and respectfully.

3. Most Native American pueblos and tribes forbid drawing, videotaping and photography on the pueblo or at dances and events. This is to preserve the sacred nature of the event and the privacy of the people living there.

4. No pets.

5. No cellphones.

6. No alcohol.

7. Shaking hands is the appropriate way to greet a Native American. But, Native Americans prefer a gentle handshake to a firm one.

8. Also, don’t forget sunscreen, water, and cash. You’ll be outside and you might need some supplies or souvenirs.

Planning a trip? Below are the Eight Northern Indian Pueblos, and information about upcoming events.

Nambe Pueblo

“Mound of Earth in the Corner”

Upcoming events:

Buffalo Dance following Christmas Eve dance (Dec. 24)

Buffalo, Deer and Antelope Dances (Jan. 6)

Ohkay Owingeh“Village of the Strong People”

Upcoming Events:

Matachine and various dances (Dec. 25)

Turtle Dance (Dec. 26)

Picuris Pueblo

“Those Who Paint”

Upcoming Events:

Christmas Eve Mass and Dances (Dec. 24)

Holy Innocents Day; children’s dances (Dec. 28)

King’s Day Dances (Jan. 6)

Candelaria Day Dances (Feb. 2)

Pojoaque Pueblo

P’o Suwae Geh

“Water Drinking Place”

Upcoming Events:

Feast Day Mass (Dec. 11)

Feast Day (Dec. 12)

San Ildefonso Pueblo


“Where the Water Cuts Through”

Evening Firelight Dances (Jan. 22)

Feast Day (Jan. 23)

Santa Clara Pueblo (KHA’P’O)

“Valley of the Wild Roses”

Taos Pueblo


“The Place of the Red Willows”

Upcoming events:

Sundown torchlight Procession of the Virgin, Vespers and Matachines Dances (Dec. 24)

Matachine and various dances (Dec. 25)

Turtle Dance (Jan. 1)

Deer or Buffalo Dances (Jan. 6)

Tesuque Pueblo (Te-Tsu-Geh)

“Cottonwood Tree Place”

Upcoming Events:

San Diego Feast Day (Nov. 12)

Of course, there are more events than these listed. In addition to the links provided, you can go to the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture’s website for general info about pueblo events.As a proud Santa Fean, this is one time I encourage you to hit the road. Enjoy a truly authentic cultural experience at a Native American pueblo. Santa Fe will be waiting for you when you get back with the glow of a piñon fire and a warm bowl of green chile stew.

Ancient Spirits Make for an Unearthly Adventure!

Santa Fe is the second oldest city in the U.S., which means that ghosts and spirits have had over four centuries to make Santa Fe their home.  As the city settles into autumn, the Halloween season begs visitors and locals alike to explore Santa Fe’s haunted history. Do you dare?

Santa Fe’s Native American, Spanish, Mexican, and pioneer cultures each contribute to the city’s spirited remnants. History points to a city built on the ground of an abandoned Tanoan Indian Village, including the sacred Tanoan burial sites. That’s almost a guarantee for spookiness.

Depiction of lady La Llorona. Photo courtesy www.legendsofamerica.com

As you stroll along the shaded Santa Fe River, be aware of  La Llorona (pronounced “LAH yoh ROH nah”) the “Weeping Woman”. Her tall, thin spirit is said to be blessed with natural beauty and long flowing black hair. Wearing a white gown, she roams the rivers, wailing into the night and searching for children to drag, screaming to a watery grave. These days many Santa Fe parents use the legend of La Llorona to keep their children in line. Be good, or La Llorona may come looking for you!

Holy ground always intrigues the spirit-curious and the Chapel of San Miguel, the oldest church in the city, is an iconic staple that will not disappoint. It too was built on top of a burial site in the early 17th century, and was the first building burned in the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. Hundreds of human remains have been found beneath the church, and many visitors have claimed to see and feel ancient spirits in the sanctuary. Even the gift shop is haunted by the presence of a child that died in the 1940’s. His heavy footsteps and laughter can be heard about the room.

The San Miguel Church in 1880. Photo courtesy Library of Congress and www.legendsofamerica.com

Hoping to visit a site with a bewitched history? The Oldest House, approximated to be 800 years old, once housed a witch and her sister. The two were tried for witchcraft, found guilty and beheaded. The spirit of one can be seen roaming the narrow road just outside the home.

Legendary hotels like the La Posada Hotel, La Fonda on the Plaza and the Palace of the Governors add to the haunted legends in downtown Santa Fe. The ghost of Julia Staab still haunts the room she died in at La Posada, once her lavish residence. Ask for room 101 if you’re brave enough to spend the night. La Fonda Hotel has sightings ranging from ghosts moving through walls to the spirits of a hanged judge stalking the hallways.

This painting hangs in Julia Staab’s room at the La Posada hotel. Photo courtesy of www.legendsofamerica.com

If you can’t make it to Santa Fe this Halloween to explore your mysterious side, it offers year-round tours of its most eerie locations. The Original Santa Fe Ghost Tour guides you through the paranormal activity in the city’s past and present.

Listening to the unearthly accounts of Santa Fe’s resident spirits offers a glimpse into the city’s paranormal activity. Book a stay in one of the haunted hotels and they just may come calling!

Discover more spooky surprises in Santa Fe:

Book your Spookworthy Stay Today! 


Explore the Santa Fe Chocolate Trail

From the blog Santa Fe Travelers

“If you believe that chocolate should be a food group, you’ll love the Santa Fe Chocolate. This delicious Santa Fe Chocolate Trail is scattered around the downtown area waiting for you to visit. The four shops each put their own spin on the bean, including use of that New Mexico staple, chile. If you’re not planning to be in Santa Fe anytime soon, the unique shops on the Santa Fe Chocolate all do mail order and all but one are on the web.”

Santa Fe Chocolate Trail Kakawa Chocolate Shop Photo Steve Collins
Try traditional sipping chocolates at Kakawa Chocolate Shop; Photo/Steve Collins

Santa Fe Chocolate Trail CG Higgins Confectioners Photo Steve Collins

CG Higgins Confectioners; Photo/Stave Collins

 Santa Fe Chocolate Trail Todos Santos Photo Steve Collins

Todos Santos Chocolate Shop; Photo/Steve Collins

 To read the full blog post, click here: http://www.santafetravelers.com/food-thoughts/exploring-the-santa-fe-chocolate-trail/

Mountain Splendor, Thrilling Adventures and Tantalizing Cuisine.

If you’re craving some outdoor adventure, then Santa Fe needs to be at the top of your must-explore list. Its gorgeous landscape is home to miles of trails, perfect for hikers and bikers of all experience levels. And whether journeying on foot or on wheels, you’ll be breathing the cleanest air in the country, just ask the American Lung Association. You don’t have to go far to enjoy this outdoor enthusiast’s paradise – the wilderness of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains begins just minutes from downtown Santa Fe. It’s time to hit the trails!

Photo courtesy of Southwest Mountain Adventures – Santa Fe, NM

The Aspen Vista Trail is the most popular in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Its gradual uphill climb is ideal for hikers of all abilities and ages. And, when the snow starts falling the trail makes for the perfect cross-country skiing. If you’re looking for a steeper ascent, head to the top of the Atalaya Mountain Trail. You can catch your breath as you admire majestic views of the Rio Grande valley and Santa Fe below.

View from Aspen Vista Trail – Santa Fe, NM

There are many other trails that provide scenic trips through some of the most magnificent scenery in the southwest. Awe at the large stands of evergreens, piñon and juniper forests, cottonwood and willow trees, lush aspen-fir forests, vibrant fields of wildflowers, and stunning monarch butterflies. You can easily a find great place to picnic, camp, bird watch, and more. Before you head out, don’t forget to prepare for high elevation adventure. Fuel up with a traditional New Mexican breakfast, Café Pasqual’s and the Plaza Café both dish up tasty huevos rancheros.

For those who prefer their fresh-aired splendor a bit bumpier, Santa Fe provides some of the best mountain biking in the southwest. Trails range from slow-paced scenic routes to challenging brutal treks. The Dale Ball Trails is an easy-to-access, immaculate 22-mile trail system just minutes from the plaza. Ranging from St. John’s College to the Sierra Del Norte trailhead just north of downtown, the trail network offers single-track loops for all levels of riders. You don’t need a custom helmet and endorsement deal to enjoy an invigorating ride overlooking the city. Just hop on, pedal, and enjoy.The newly renovated La Tierra trail network of service roads, double track and single-track runs, takes riders through a classic New Mexico piñon forest and expansive open spaces.  This trail system is suited for novice riders, but do expect to see experienced cyclists blur past.

And just in case any doubt remained about Santa Fe’s bike cred, the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) chose the City Different as the destination for thier 2012 World Summit (October 10th to the 13th). The conference will discuss and explore all things mountain bike. Attendees can expect a week of professional development, rejuvenation, networking, and of course, unparalleled riding.

International Mountain Bicycling Association 2012 World Summit October 10-13, 2013.

Looking for something a little more low-key? The annual Santa Fe Gourmet Classic held every fall, offers riders of all levels the opportunity to cycle for their supper. This 65-mile gastronomical cruise features rest stops serving up scrumptious snacks and gourment southwest cuisine. The non-competitive ride offers beautiful views of the Sangre de Cristo and Sandia mountains.

Flat tire? Forgot your padded shorts? If you need a quick repair or to restock some gear, stop by Rob & Charlie’s for Santa Fe’s best selection of bikes and parts. If the only part you’re missing is the bike itself, Mellow Velo can hook you up with a rental. Whatever you do, just make sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen. You don’t want anything to get in the way of post-journey victory enchiladas.

Challenging rides, gorgeous hikes, and spectacular views, make Santa Fe the perfect destination for anyone who loves a vacation that roams.  So tie up those laces and get ready to see Santa Fe in its natural and rugged beauty. Happy trails!

Upcoming Events:

The IMBA 2012 World Summit October 10-13, 2012

Miles of Trails

Aspen Vista Trail

Dale Ball Trail System

La Tierra Trail

Chamisa Trail

Borrego – Bear Wallow – Winsor Loop

Resources and Guides:

FREE Santa Fe Visitors Guide 

Steals and Deals 


Trail Alliance of Santa Fe

Santa Fe Fat Tire Society

A Bike Friendly Community


IMBA 2012 World Summit a Celebration of All Things Mountain Biking

Santa Fe offers riders bountiful terrain and welcoming hospitality

October 1, 2012: If it can be done on a mountain bike, it will be going on at the International Mountain Bicycling Association’s (IMBA) biennial World Summit in Santa Fe, October 10-13. The sixth annual event will include a Vendors Expo featuring major bike and gear manufacturers, daily group rides in the Southern Rockies on the edge of Santa Fe, a fun criterium around the Santa Fe Plaza and daily sessions and workshops.

Photo Courtesy: The International Mountain Bicycling Association

The non-profit IMBA is recognized as a leader in low-impact biking advocacy and as an educational force promoting cooperation between varied trail user groups. More than 100 volunteers will help the hundreds of summit attendees find their way around the city, learn about Santa Fe, and discover the boundless riding on the city limits.

Educational sessions held at the Santa Fe Convention Center will cover topics about mountain bike tourism, creating youth initiatives, developing urban core trails, creating an urban wilderness, the evolution of bike-friendly land policies, and many more topics including a case study of Gallup, New Mexico and how it became the “Adventure Capital of New Mexico.”

The public is welcome to explore the Vendors Expo in and nearby the Santa Fe Convention Center on Thursday, and Friday from 3 PM to 7 PM. Then, on Friday evening, 10/12, downtown will come alive with events. A criterium will be contested around the Santa Fe Plaza on kid-sized Strider bikes–no pedals, all foot powered–during multiple heats. In addition, a trail cutting machine obstacle course will be set up, a demonstration urban bike park will be on display, and the Red Bull film, “Where the Trail Ends” documenting the most ambitious mountain biking expedition ever will be showing at the convention center. www.wherethetrailends.com/ . (All ages, tickets available to the public.)

Group rides will take place every afternoon and be led by the Santa Fe Fat Tire Society and the Santa Fe-based Pedal Queens. Motorists should be aware of increased bike traffic along East and West Alameda, Camino Cabra, Upper Canyon Road, Camino de Las Crucitas, and Camino de Los Montoyas as riders head out to the Dale Ball Trials and the La Tierra Trails. Ride times are:

  • Wednesday 10/10 from Noon to 6:30
  • Thursday, 10/11 from 3:00 to 6:30
  • Friday, 10/12 from 3:00 to 6:30

On Saturday, 10/13 the Winsor Trail will be used by the cyclists from 8:30 AM to 1:00 beginning at the Santa Fe Ski Area parking lot trailhead down to the Chamisa Trial, Sidewinder Trail, and Little Tesuque Creek Trail, ending up on Hyde Park Road. Again, motorists should be mindful of the increased bicycle traffic while hikers and other trail users should be alert to the high volume of bicycle activity on the trails during these times. The National Forest Service will be posting notices and trail intersections will be manned with volunteers reminding users to be alert.

Santa Fe’s outstanding bike terrain and mountain biking infrastructure, small town feel, and ideal location against the foothills of the Southern Rockies were some of the reasons IMBA selected the city for the World Summit. They are also reasons bikers continue to discover Santa Fe as a perfect stepping off point for mountain biking in Northern New Mexico.

Local sponsors include the Santa Fe Convention & Visitors Bureau, Bicycle Technologies International, Outside Magazine, O’Leary Built Bicycles, Santa Fe Fat Tire Society, Santa Fe Brewing Company, Second Street Brewery, Santa Fe Spirits, Marble Brewery, Santa Fe Subaru, the Santa Fe REI store, 10,000 Waves, Hotel Santa Fe, Hilton Santa Fe, Santa Fe Conservation Trust, Century Bank, Wilson & Co., and santafe.com .


For more information; www.imba.com/world-summit

World Summit program:



RE:MIKE / RE:IMAGINE Central Santa Fe

“The Saint Michael’s Drive Corridor is the heart of central Santa Fe and the intersection point for all four of Santa Fe’s city council districts. It’s a vital area anchored by the Santa Fe University of Art & Design and the CHRISTUS Saint Vincent Regional Medical Center. In between are important neighborhoods, dozens of crucial businesses and great community organizations. The RE:MIKE event is a continuation of existing and previous efforts to encourage residents, citizens, business owners, students, commuters and everyone who has a stake in the area to lend their voices to its future.” – RE:MIKE

Saint Michael’s Drive is one of the major east-west streets in Santa Fe. The idea behind the RE:MIKE project is to recognize the history of the area, identify its values, its needs and develop plans to revitalize the corridor into a more comfortable and inviting urban space. As part of the project’s kick-off events, urban planner and designer Candy Chang spoke about her work and the power of personal introspection in public space. She combines urban planning, street art, and graphic design to transform simple objects like stickers, stencils, and chalkboards into powerful tools that spark conversations in public spaces around the world. The title of her presentation was Toward Better Public Spaces: Transforming Our Cities Through Art and Design. She talked in length about how we share or don’t share information in urban areas and what we would or could reveal if given the opportunity and tools to do so. Santa Fe was recently added to one of Candy’s projects called Neighborland, where people in various cities around the country can voice their desires, needs and concerns for their neighborhoods.
By Corie Chambers

Aspen Color, Soul-Warming Chile and Festive Events Welcome Autumn in Santa Fe

If there’s one overarching truism about New Mexico residents and visitors, it’s the love of chile and colorful vistas. Fall in Santa Fe is not only characterized by the vibrant aspen foliage, but also the iconic aroma of fresh roasting chile. You can find red or green peppers on almost every street corner in town. If you’re new to this, make like a local and pull over whenever you see, or smell, a roadside chile stand.  We promise it will be the best pit stop you’ll make all year.

For the finest fall ingredients, chile and otherwise, head to the Santa Fe Farmers Market.  The Saturday and Tuesday morning markets are bursting with local lavender, honey, cheeses, and organic produce. You will be in good company shopping among gourmands and acclaimed local chefs. But, if you prefer to leave the kitchen work to someone else, rest assured, tantalizing dishes await at local favorites like Tia Sophia’s, located just one block from the historic Plaza.

The iconic ristra, or string of dried red chilies, is seen year-round in Santa Fe. Ancient wisdom proclaims that hanging ristras in your doorway will bring you good luck (as well as satisfy your palate); so make sure to stock up for a year’s worth of good fortune. Want to know the best places to find one? Ask a local or head to the many merchant shops around the Plaza.

Fresh chile from the Santa Fe Farmers Market

Prepare your palates for the Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta!

Fall also brings us the fabulous Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta, a must for food adventurers, wine aficionados, or anyone who enjoys happy taste buds. Highlights of the five-day event include a tasting with John Rivera Sedlar, named “Chef of the Year 2011” by Esquire magazine and a luncheon hosted by Dakota Weiss from the W in Los Angeles and Top Chef.  And, if that’s not enough to get your taste buds dancing, many of Santa Fe’s most eclectic restaurants will be dishing up special menus all week highlighting the magic of wine and chile.

Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta

The serious wine connoisseur can get excited about the 70+ vineyards pouring samples of their best vintages including New Mexican wineries like Estrella Del Norte and Vivac. A sommelier throw down will put leading culinary experts to the test while they compete to find the perfect pairing of wine and food. The best part: those in attendance get to indulge while soaking up the ambience of the nation’s oldest wine growing region, New Mexico!

Kick off autumn color at the Santa Fe Harvest Festival

The Harvest Festival, held every October at El Rancho de las Golondrinasis a full-body immersion into autumn. During the festival at this grand, living museum, villagers in period dress demonstrate traditional techniques. Participate in grape crushing, ristra stringing, tortilla making and much more.

El Rancho de las Golondrinas

Whether you’re experiencing Santa Fe’s fall season for the first time, or you’re a well-versed veteran, your senses are sure to be invigorated during this annual harvest festival. For more information, visit the Santa Fe website and don’t forget to take home some Santa Fe flavors for year-round culinary adventures in your own kitchen. Here’s one of our favorite green chile stew recipes to get you started. Enjoy!



Green Chile Stew

Courtesy of Santa Fe School of Cooking

Serves 8

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds beef sirloin or pork butt, cut in 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 cups diced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
6 cups chicken or beef

1 pound red or white potatoes, cut in 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes
2 to 3 teaspoons salt, to taste
3 cups roasted, peeled, chopped green chile or to taste
3 tablespoons diced red bell pepper
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, to taste

Heat the oil in a 6-quart pot over high heat and brown the meat in batches. Set aside. In the same oil, sauté the onions until golden.  Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute. Return the meat to the pan along with any juices that may have accumulated. Add the broth, potatoes, salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for one hour, until the potatoes are tender. Add the green chile and the red bell pepper, and cook 15 to 20 minutes more. Add the cilantro, stir and serve.

Side Bar: The Santa Fe Cooking School uses locally grown green chile when making the stew. It is roasted over a fire or gas flame, peeled and chopped. When the chile is not in season,  roasted, peeled, chopped, frozen green chile is used. You could also use freeze-dried green chile in place of the fresh. A combination of mild and hot chiles produce a more balanced flavor.

Local chile farmer Matt Romero roasting our favorite green chile.

Fall Event Highlights:

Santa Fe Wine & Chile Fiesta September 26th – 30th

Santa Fe Farmers Market every Tuesday and Saturday from 8am to 1pm at the Santa Fe Railyard.

El Rancho de las Golondrinas  Harvest Festival on October 6th and  7th at El Rancho de las Golondrinas!



An Unforgettable Afternoon at the Spanish Colonial Museum

I have a confession. I’m not a “museum person.” Maybe it’s the thought of long lines, stern guards  and dry descriptions that turns me off. Or maybe it’s a therapist-worthy flashback from one tragically awkward middle school field trip (don’t ask). So it was with some trepidation that I finally decided to experience what friends have been raving about for years – the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art at Santa Fe’s famous Museum Hill.

Step one: Get museum-ready. In preparation I called upon the most powerful energy vortex in Santa Fe: a double Americano from Ohori’s (oh, sweet nectar of the gods.) Reusable cup in hand, I drove on, pumping a steady dose of Adele powerfully through the stereo. It was a particularly clear Santa Fe day, and I was briefly tempted to detour and stroll the Santa Fe Railyard. But, caffeinated and inspired, I stayed the course.

Museums of Spanish Colonial Art

Winding through the tranquil and scenic foothills, driving to the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art didn’t feel like going to a museum at all. My short route took me just minutes from the Plaza through the lavender-dotted hills that evoked a Santa Fe watercolor. A quick glance at my GPS confirmed that the museum was in fact the charming adobe hacienda hidden behind piñon trees in the distance. This might not be so bad after all.

I bravely walked the rustic flagstone path to the museum’s entrance. It felt so much like approaching someone’s front door I nearly paused to knock. Once inside the museum, I immediately felt the unmistakable, warm Santa Fe vibe my friends had been talking about. Crooked halls connected a trove of charming rooms the likes of which you’d linger in with friends over a glass of wine (note to self: Dragon Room, it’s been too long.) No vaulted ceilings, pretentious architecture, grand staircases, marble pillars, or silver-haired “shush-ers” here. This was my kind of museum.

New Deal Art: CCC Tinworker Light

The featured exhibit was: CCC Furniture and Tinwork from the Great Depression. The CCC? My heart swelled. My grandfather had proudly served in the CCC–the Civilian Conservation Corps, and shared with great pride the stories and weathered photographs of the bridge he helped build near Bandelier National Monument.

At the museum I learned that in New Mexico FDR’s New Deal allowed local artists and craftsmen to create some of our state’s most exquisite artworks. Actually, some of the murals done for the program can still be viewed on walking tours through downtown Santa Fe. Yet as breathtaking as the artistry and skill of the CCC artists was, their work had never before been exhibited. I felt proud to be part of this inaugural exhibit. And to my surprise I felt right at home surround by the past.

CCC Tinworker Sconce

Completing the exhibit, I envisioned impressing the girls at wine club by unleashing my inner Martha Stewart. “The exquisite antique furniture was constructed using traditional European techniques handed down by early colonists, but CCC workers also incorporated designs and animal motifs from Pueblo Indian pottery,” I would tell them. Then, after an appropriate pause, “It’s impossible to know which CCC workers are responsible for each piece, but the traditions preserved by the CCC projects are some of the most recognizable in New Mexico.”

The story of how tin working became a tradition is told across the hall from the CCC exhibit. But that’s a whole other, equally enchanting, story I’ll save for another time.

The good news for longtime and temporary Santa Feans: The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art tells our story beyond just “museum-style” names and dates. In just minutes you can journey to Santa Fe’s artistic heritage. Take it from me, you’ll feel the true spirit of Santa Fe… even if you’re not a museum person.

Check out the exhibit at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art

Want to discover more New Deal Art in Santa Fe? Experience the New Deal Art Legacy Walking Tour 

Runners, Dreamers and Legends: The 2nd Annual Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon

Santa Fe, N.M. —The second annual Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon will draw runners from across North America the weekend of September 15. The USATF-certified race starts Sunday, Sept. 16, at 8 a.m. in downtown Santa Fe and will end in the Rio Grande Valley at the Pueblo of Pojoaque’s Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino.  The race will bring runners and families from around the country to New Mexico and will give athletes the opportunity to test their fitness and endurance at high altitude.

The Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon course will be fast and scenic, dropping over 1,300 feet after a gradual climb for the first two miles. The race starts at historic Fort Marcy Park in the heart of Santa Fe.  Runners will head north on the Old Taos Highway and will see the spectacular views of the 13,000 foot high Sangre De Cristo mountains to the east soon after they exit Fort Marcy.  They will also see the 11,000 foot Jemez Mountains to the west, which will be in the peak fall colors. At the three-mile mark near the Santa Fe Opera, the high point of the course, an inspiring panorama will inspire runners to kick it up a notch. The red rock formations extending up the valley north as far as the eye can see will entice the runners to keep going as they descend into the Rio Grande Valley.

The course then will take the runners into the picturesque Village of Tesuque, passing by Tesuque Village Market, where music, refreshments and water stations await. Continuing downhill, participants will enter the Tesuque Pueblo, passing by Camel Rock before reaching the Pueblo of Pojoaque. The finish will be at the magnificent Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino.

“We’ve created a destination race with top runners who will enjoy our beautiful scenery and rich culture,” says race director Joseph Karnes of Global Running Culture. “We have entries from 26 states, Canada and Mexico. We hope to grow this into a ‘must run’ race that provides participants with an unforgettable experience.  There’s still time to register, so please visit www.santafethunder.com  and join us for this beautiful, fun run.”

Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon will honor legendary Olympic Gold Medalist Billy Mills, Steve “King of the Mountain” Gachupin, double U.S. Olympic Trials qualifier, Nike N7 Ambassador Alvina Begay and World Record Steeplechaser Peter Koech. They all are scheduled to attend and participate in weekend events. Mills will officially start the race. In addition, a contingent of Rarámuri (Tarahumara) Indians from Copper Canyon, Mexico, is scheduled to participate in the weekend events. The Rarámuri are famed for their running-based culture, as recently portrayed in the best-selling book “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall.

Global Running Culture, a nonprofit organization formed by elite distance runners Abraham Kosgei, Joseph Karnes and Antonio Lopez, created Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon. They came together to promote youth fitness, nutrition and health through participation in the sport of running. The race is the group’s primary fundraiser. Partnering with Whole Foods Market, Global Running Culture established the Fitness, Food & Fun Program at the Santa Fe Boys & Girls Clubs. This monthly program provides Club members with the opportunity to run with elite athletes, learn about healthy nutrition and enjoy healthy snacks.

“We want to inspire the next generation by the power of sport,” says 2000 Kenyan Olympic Team selection Abraham Kosgei. “For every child, regular physical activity and good nutrition are keys to success in life.”

There were 710 runners in the 2011 Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon. Organizers can accommodate up to 1,000 runners this year.

Following his astounding come-from-behind victory in the 1964 Olympic 10,000 meter race in Tokyo and a world-record-setting career, Billy Mills has devoted his life to enhancing opportunities for young people. His foundation, Running Strong for American Indian Youth, implements his vision, and his worldwide appearances inspire people of all ages to make the most of their lives. “Each of us is unique,” says Mills, “and we should appreciate the opportunities we have and make the most of them.” Mills is attending the race in support of Global Running Culture’s mission to promote youth fitness and health through healthy nutrition and participation in sport.

Nike N7 dry-fit t-shirts, handmade age-group awards made by Pueblo artists, unique finisher’s medals, a pasta dinner at Buffalo Thunder and live music along the course, combined with Santa Fe’s natural beauty and cultural amenities, make this race a not-to-miss event for both runners and spectators.

Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon weekend events include a talk by Billy Mills, the Race Expo, a Kids Run and the Pasta Dinner on Saturday, Sept. 15.  The Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon, 5K and 1 mile walk all start Sunday, Sept. 16, at 8 a.m., followed by awards and entertainment at the Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino. The point-to-point half marathon course starts at Fort Marcy and finishes at the Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino, which is where the 5K and 1 Mile walk start and finish.

To register and for additional information, please visit www.santafethunder.com  or email info@santafethunder.com
Registration Fees: Half Marathon: $50, 5K: $25, Walk:  $15
After Sept. 9: Half Marathon: $60, 5K: $30, Walk: $20


Santa Fe to Buffalo Thunder Half Marathon is an official New Mexico Centennial project










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PARTY ON IN PEACE: Celebrating the 300th Anniversary of Fiesta de Santa Fe.

If there’s one tradition that captures the vibrant spirit of Santa Fe, it’s our city’s annual celebration, La Fiesta de Santa Fe–a colorful, historic feast unlike anything you’ve experienced. With parades, dancing, concerts, and a 30-foot effigyof gloom built every year just to be burned to the ground, La Fiesta de Santa Fe is truly a feast for all the senses.

As thousands of fiesta-goers who return year-after-year will attest, celebrating Santa Fe style means more than just revelry. Legendary food, music and the pageantry of 300 year traditions provide the perfect celebration.  Crowds discover and rediscover a bounty of authentic local cuisine and regional wines at gourmet restaurants and traditional food booths lining the Plaza. Streets spill over with music, parades and cries of “Viva la Fiesta,” with festivities pausing only for a majestic, time-honored Catholic ceremony.

Ask any local, and you’ll discover that Fiesta de Santa Fe has a special place in the hearts of Santa Feans. Beyond its fun and pageantry, it offers a unique blend of ancient culture, modern art, and longstanding community traditions.  ¡Viva La Fiesta!

A Celebration of Peace

With a name that means “holy faith” in Spanish, it won’t surprise anyone to learn that there’s a lot of Spanish colonial heritage in Santa Fe. In fact, Santa Fe was considered the capital city even when New Mexico was still the “Kingdom of New Mexico” under the rule of the King of Spain. La Fiesta de Santa Fe is a celebration created by the conquistadors who helped establish colonies here.

It might be hard to get excited about celebrating colonialism in the Twenty First Century, but Fiesta de Santa Fe has survived since 1912 because it was never a celebration of Spanish conquest. La Fiesta de Santa Fe has survived so long because it celebrates cultures coming together in peace. After years of conflict between colonists and native tribes, Don Diego de Vargas successfully re-occupied Santa Fe without conflict or bloodshed. It was such a profound step toward peaceful coexistence that De Vargas attributed it to divine intervention and insisted that a feast be held in reverence of the Virgin Mary.

Conflicts did not completely disappear, but the tradition of celebrating a peaceful marriage of differing cultures remained, an attitude that characterizes Santa Fe even today. Visitors can celebrate culture and history by retracing the actual steps of the city’s ancestors through the center of town, or by joining a candlelight procession on the last day of the Fiesta.

A Celebration of Art

In 1924, before Burning Man, and comparatively new to the rest of Fiesta celebrations, the burning of Zozobra began as a creation by artist William Shuster. A member of a group known around town as Los Cincos Pintores (the five painters), Shuster was among the first Anglo artists to discover Santa Fe’s unspoiled beauty and natural splendor. By then, La Fiesta de Santa Fe was over two hundred years old and had seen better days.

Not content to let the tradition die, Will Shuster and several of his friends hatched a plot to stage a fiesta of their own in an empty lot behind City Hall. Shuster adapted a tradition with roots in Roman Catholicism as well as the cultural ceremonies of the Yaqui Indians to create a huge marionette personification of gloom that would be burned into cinders.

This year Fiesta de Santa Fe celebrates its 300th anniversary, proving that partying in peace can be a lasting tradition. So join Santa Fe in watching your troubles and gloom go up in smoke. “Viva La Fiesta”!

Fiesta De Santa Fe Events: September 5-9, 2012

September 5

Concierto de Mariachi: 10am – 12pm & 2pm – 4pm at the Lensic Performing Art Center
Historical Fiesta Lecture:  6pm – 7:30 September 5 at the New Mexico History Museum

September 6

Burning of Zozobra: 3pm – 11pm  at Fort Marcy Park

September 7

Pregon de la Fiesta: 6am – 7am at Rosario Chapel
Fiesta Fine Art and Craft Market: 9am – 5pm at the Santa Fe Plaza
Food Booths: 9am – 10pm at the Santa Fe Plaza
Bandstand on the Plaza: 10am – 10pm at the Santa Fe Plaza
Official Opening of the Fiesta: 12pm – 12:30pm at the Santa Fe Plaza
Entrada de Don Diego de Vargas: 2pm – 3pm at the Santa Fe Plaza

September 8

Desfile de Los Ninos (The Pet Parade): 9am – 10:45am Downtown Santa Fe
Bandstand on the Plaza: 10:45am – 10pm at the Santa Fe Plaza
La Merienda (The Fashion Show): 3pm – 5pm at the James A. Little Theater
Gran Baile: 7:30pm at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center

 September 9

Solemn Procession: 9:30am – 10am at the Palace of the Governors
Pontifical Mass: 10am – 11:15am at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi
Bandstand on the Plaza: 11am- 5pm at the Santa Fe Plaza
Desfile de la Gente Historical Parade: 12:30pm – 3 pm Downtown Santa Fe
Closing Ceremonies: 5:15pm – 5:30pm at the Santa Fe Plaza
Mass of Thanksgiving and Candlelight Procession: 7pm – 9pm at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi

Find more ways and reasons to celebrate in Santa Fe here!