1 Have a fair time.

Stars, Stripes, and Summer Nights is the theme of this year’s Rodeo Parade at the Los Alamos County Fair. It winds down Central Avenue at 10 a.m. on Saturday. “This year we have 34 participants,” says Jaquelyn Connolly, director at Los Alamos MainStreet. “You will see the rodeo queens, the high school marching band, horses, goats, chickens, and a lot of classic vehicles, including a 1940s GMC.” 

Other events at the fair include a pie-baking contest, arts and crafts at Fuller Lodge, a watermelon-eating contest, a stroll through North Mesa Stables, where you can meet equine friends and even a miniature donkey, and live music at Ashley Pond. “I think there is something for everybody,” Connolly says. “Especially with the exhibits, there is a great variety of art and things to see.”

Five other county fairs saddle up this weekend. Catch the fun in De Baca County (August 11–13), Mora and San Miguel counties (August 10–14), Union County (August 10–13), Quay County (August 10–13), and Torrance County (August 9–12).

Among the artists participating in the Questa Studio Tour will be Maria Mikhalas and Peggy Trigg. Photographs courtesy of the Questa Studio Tour.

2 Go art hopping.

The Questa Studio Tour, now in its seventh year, offers visitors a peek into the studios of creatives working in a variety of mediums, all of whom make their homes in the small mountain town. Just 30 miles from Taos, Questa is home to artists who work in traditional mediums like retablo painting and tinwork. Innovative crafts like stained glass and leather crafting appear, too. Over 50 artists participate in the tour this year, and you can visit their studios all day on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Find a map of all the open studio locations on the event’s website. Be sure to stop by Rael’s Store & Coffee Shop for special studio tour beverages. 

Celebrate the most joyous time of year at the Chile the Kid Wine & Beer Festival in Ruidoso. Photograph by NMTD. NMTD

3 Spice up your life.

The Chile the Kid Wine & Beer Festival in Ruidoso celebrates the best time of year in New Mexico (chile-roasting time, that is) with a bash that includes live music, beer and wine tastings, and tons of ways to gobble green chile. Each ticket comes with a commemorative beer or wine glass, as well as some free, freshly roasted green chile from Albertson’s Market. It happens at the Ruidoso Downs Race Track Friday through Sunday with live musical performances happening throughout the weekend. Hear from the Rosewater Blues Band, CW Ayon, Randy Jones, Delaney Davis, and more.

4 Scare yourself.

Ghost stories take the stage at the Las Cruces Railroad Museum on Saturday during Tales of the Rails, an hour of candlelit yarns from 11 a.m. to 12 noon. “We will have one person reading stories, and then there will be a bit of time where the audience can share about similar events in their own lives,” says Tori Pyle, education curator at the museum. The event will include tales that center on supernatural or unsolved happenings near railroads across the country. “There’s a bit of thrill and joy in hearing folklore and legends and connecting with strange and creepy childhood experiences we may have had,” Pyle says. You don’t need to preregister, and the event is free.   

5 Hearken to the comedy.  

Recent rains have nurtured new blooms at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden, made all the more beautiful by a performance of a Shakespeare classic. The Comedy of Errors, presented by Santa Fe Classic Theater is on this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 7 p.m. You’re welcome to bring a picnic dinner to eat, drink, and make merry in the Orchard Garden before the performance begins. Leave pets and glass bottles at home and pick up after thineself. Gates open for picnicking at 5:30 p.m., and eating in the Ojos Y Manos amphitheater starts at 6:45 p.m. Prithee keep an eye on the theater’s Facebook page should “it raineth every day.”