1 Stop and smell the lavender.
Lavender in the Village Festival takes over Hartnett Park in Los Ranchos de Albuquerque on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The biggest celebration of lavender in the Southwest, it includes more than 100 vendors selling a products like fragrant sachets filled with dried florals, paintings featuring the purple plants in bloom, bath and body goods that will make your next shower smell like a spa, and lavender bushes for your garden.
“We’ve never had more vendors than we have this year,” says Dean Strober, owner and producer at Blue River Productions who oversees the lavender festival. “Every vendor is from New Mexico.”
Purple Rain gets the day started with yoga classes at 8:45 a.m. and 10 a.m. (bring your own mat). Local bands Swing Magique, Crown Shy, and Let It Grow Three perform throughout the day, while master gardeners from places like Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm share techniques to grow healthy and abundant lavender. In addition, all proceeds benefit the Rio Grande Community Farm. “Every penny raised goes directly to local farmers and local farming programs based here in the North Valley,” says Strober.
2 Chill on Nob Hill.
Enjoy a warm summer evening at the Route 66 Summerfest on Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m. The old-fashioned block party along Central Avenue, from Girard Boulevard to Washington Avenue includes food trucks, live music, a climbing wall, inflatable obstacle course, and a chance to shop local businesses along the route. taking the main stage at 8:30 p.m. QUITAPENAS, which means “to remove worries,” headlines the bash with a unique blend of Afro-Latino tunes.
3 Gather ’round for a story.
Joe Hayes has been a keeper of the oral tradition for more than 40 years, telling stories about the Southwest and entertaining generations with his animated tales in English and Spanish. The resident storyteller at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian and author of more than 40 books performs at Reunity Resources in Santa Fe on Sunday, and again on Sunday, July 30, at 7 p.m.
“My dad used to tell stories to me and my brothers and sisters,” he says. “That planted the idea. Then I started telling stories to my kids, and it dawned on me that I could make it into a career.”
Hayes researches New Mexican culture and folklore for tales like “A Heart Full of Turquoise” and “Clay Pot Boy.” “Human beings relied on storytelling to pass information, their identity, and even the technology they were using from one generation to the next for millions of years,” he says. “The oral tradition is what people depended upon to bond the culture together.”
4 See Oppenheimer where it happened.
Coinciding with the premiere of Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer, the Oppenheimer Festival celebrates the legacy of the Manhattan Project physicist. From July 20–3o, see exhibits, watch screenings of documentaries and the feature film, and hear panel discussions with experts and movie extras, who can provide insight into the filming process, which took place in Los Alamos and Santa Fe. “The festival is an immersive celebration of J. Robert Oppenheimer’s contributions to science, history, and humanity,” says Ryn Herrmann, director of the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce. “It’s based around the movie, but it offers a lot more than that. It’s an experience.”
5 Sip and shop.
More than 100 artists from throughout the country show their work at the Ruidoso Art Festival at the Ruidoso Convention Center on Friday (noon–6 p.m.), Saturday (10 a.m.–5 p.m.) and Sunday (11 a.m.–5 p.m.). The 52nd annual festival offers attendees a chance to peruse art in mediums ranging from painting to jewelry while enjoying beer and wine from local brewers and vintners.