1 Celebrate Spanish art.

A signature summer event on the Santa Fe Plaza, Traditional Spanish Market celebrates the breadth and depth of Spanish art in the Land of Enchantment. From tinwork and wood carving to painted santos and bultos, the market is a feast for the eyes that demonstrates the generations-deep creativity that exists in New Mexico. Hosted by the Atrisco Heritage Foundation for the first time, the event showcases 150 adult and mentored youth artists as well as live mariachi music, flamenco, and more on Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We’re trying to keep everything traditional and stay true to the market people know,” says Peter Sanchez, chief executive officer at the Atrisco Heritage Foundation. “We’re showcasing a form of art that’s unique in the world and in New Mexico. We are the caretakers of that.”

Nacha Mendez performs with the 10-piece salsa ensemble Los Salseros Santastico to raise money for scholarships to help young New Mexican women of color. Minesh Bacrania

2 Jam for a cause.

Nacha Mendez grew up in a musically devout family in La Unión, New Mexico, learning ranchera songs from her grandmother. Dubbed the Queen of Latin World Music in the Land of Enchantment, Mendez draws inspiration from her grandmother and those songs whenever she performs. On Saturday at 8:30 p.m., she performs with the 10-piece salsa ensemble Los Salseros Santastico at Tumbleroot Taproom and Distillery in Santa Fe for lively and bright dance tunes and Cuban, Colombian, and salsa classics. The performance is a benefit concert; proceeds go directly to the Nacha Mendez Music Scholarship fund, which helps young New Mexican girls of color with their burgeoning careers in music. Buy tickets before or at the door for $25 while they last!

Learn traditional farm and ranch skills at Summertime on the Farm. Photograph courtesy of Summertime on the Farm New Mexico Farm & Ranch Museum.

3 Get down on the farm.

Visit the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Museum for the second annual Summertime on the Farm on Friday, July 28, from 4 to 9 p.m. Enjoy a family-friendly party where kids can learn to make ice cream, milk a cow, participate in a scavenger hunt, ride a pony, and be part of a bicycle parade. It’s a great time to for a final helping of summer fun. Admission for the whole carload is $20 at the gate, cash preferred.

Gallup revs up the weekend fun with an evening motorcycle ride as part of the Route 66 Freedom Flight Cruise. Photograph courtesy of the Gallup Business Improvement District.

4 Take off for Gallup.

Gallup’s skies fill with hot air balloons and its streets get populated with classic cars this weekend during the annual Route 66 Freedom Flight Cruise. The two-day event features balloon mass ascensions taking off from Red Rock Park, a car show and cruise through downtown, circus performers from Wise Fool New Mexico, and food vendors and live music, including Albuquerque–based Latin rockers, Black Pearl, at the Gallup Courthouse Square. 

“It’s a very good event to build community spirit,” says Francis Bee, executive director of the Gallup Business Improvement District. At sunset, motorcycles ride into town along Aztec Avenue, which is lined with hot air balloons for an evening glow. “It’s a very dramatic-looking experience.”

The eroded buildings at Fort Union National Monument. David Moore

5 Mark the past.

They’re keeping the celebrations simple this weekend for the 172nd anniversary of Fort Union National Monument. “A Fort for a Young America” includes a special 30-minute talk, beginning Thursday, July 27, through Sunday, July 30, at 11:30 a.m. that covers the site’s history. Take a tour at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m. to get the full experience of the fort that played an important role in the development of New Mexico.

Read more: For more things to do, check out our online calendar of events.