WHAT STARTED AS A BACKYARD HANGOUT in the 1980s has evolved into a three-day music festival among Kingston’s towering ponderosa pines. Featuring bluegrass, Americana, and folk, this year’s Pickamania festival honors founder Bill Bussmann, who passed away in May, with a special musical celebration of his life on Sunday. A musician and luthier known worldwide for the Old Wave mandolins he built, Bussmann served as Pickamania’s master of ceremonies and infused the festivities with his energy. “He had an amazing sense of humor,” says Catherine Wanek, owner of Black Range Lodge, which hosts the festival. “He never missed an opportunity to play music.” True to its roots and Bussmann’s vision, Pickamania remains an intimate festival that creates community around song in a special setting. “It’s a getaway into the national forest,” Wanek says. “It’s an outdoor music festival at the end of the pavement.”

One: Tim Weed, a Southern California surfer turned banjo player, has performed with Joan Baez, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, MC Yogi, the Dave Matthews Band, and more. “He’s an amazing composer and banjo player,” says Wanek. “He can play anything from traditional to Bach concertos. He really is quite amazing.” Saturday, 4:30–5:30 p.m.

Two: A duo since 2004, Nashville’s Wil Maring and Robert Bowlin combine their individual talents for a unique brand of bluegrass, pop, and folk. Maring won the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest and has played the Grand Ole Opry. Bowlin, winner of the National Fingerpicking Guitar Championship, took the stage with the Father of Bluegrass Music Bill Monroe. “He’s very modest but also very accomplished,” says Wanek. Friday, 7:30–9 p.m.

Three ... let’s jam! On Saturday night, the Bluegrass Super Jam brings all the musicians together for one pick-tastic session. “It’s all about the graciousness and generosity of musicians playing together,” says Wanek. “It’s always the high-
light of Pickamania.” Saturday, 7:30–9 p.m.


September 8–10
Black Range Lodge, 50 Main Street, Kingston; 575-895-5652

Pickmania will feature a special musical celebration of life for musician Bill Bussmann. Photograph courtesy of Pickmania.

Totah Festival & Indian Market, Farmington
September 1-3

Farmington’s 34th annual festival features a Native rug auction, market, cultural expo, 5K run, and a new outdoor music festival.

Chama Valley Art Festival and Studio Tour, Chama
September 2 & 3

See creative works and the artists who make them in one of New Mexico’s most stunning regions during this yearly event.

New Mexico State Fair, Albuquerque
September 7-17

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—when you can indulge in deep-fried green-chile cheese curds. For 10 days, the state fair brings food, rides, live music, crafts, animals, and one heck of a rodeo to Expo New Mexico.

5th Annual Prickly Pear Festival, Albuquerque
September 23

Prickly pears are gorgeous in taste and color. Celebrate them, taste them, and see artworks featuring the fruit at Gutiérrez Hubbell House.

Go hog wild for the Great American Pig Race at the New Mexico State Fair. Photograph by NMTD.

Shadow and Light, Santa Fe
September 23 - May 28, 2024

The exhibition christens the New Mexico Museum of Art Vladem Contemporary with a look at the inspirational forces that have drawn so many artists to the Land of Enchantment.

Aspencade, Red River
September 28 - October 1

Admire the changing leaves in Red River during this music festival and craft fair (formerly known as the Red River Folk Festival), which features nationally recognized and emerging Americana and folk musicians.

Balloons soar over White Sands National Park. Photograph by NMTD.


White Sands Balloon Festival, Alamogordo
September 15 - 17

Four Corners Balloon Rally, Farmington
September 29 - October 1

That’s not all September has in store! Go to nmmag.us/events for more.