1 Race a duck.
This weekend, the 43rd annual Great American Duck Race takes over Deming, where there’s much more to see than just fast feathered friends. The fest includes three days of events, including a carnival in Courthouse Park, a skate competition at the Luna County Skate Park, live music, a beer and wine garden, a tortilla toss, an outhouse race, a hot-air balloon glow, and, of course, competing ducks.
The fun kicks off Friday at 2 p.m. with the carnival and a performance from local group Badlands, who are a bit country and a bit rock ’n’ roll. The duck races begin Saturday at noon. Attendees may rent a duck for $5 and choose to race it on either a wet or dry course for cash prizes.
“Some of my most formative and best memories are at the duck race,” says Joanna Costilla, Chief Quacker (president) of the Deming Duck Race board. “We have people come from all over the country and state.”
Nearly 100 food vendors will be there with lemonade, aguas frescas, loaded fries, quesadillas with fresh roasted green chile, roasted corn, burritos, tortas, funnel cakes, and snow cones. See the full schedule of Duck Race events and locations.
2 Stomp some grapes.
Harvest season is upon us, and Enchanted Vine, in Alto, is celebrating with a party, live music, grape stomping, and flowing vino. The Noisy Water Harvest Party takes place Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with sets from Doso Dirt Bags, George’s Bindle Bag, and Eugene, along with a competition to find the best grape stomper.
“Our grapes started coming in on the tenth of August,” says Rebecca Vann, events director at Enchanted Vine. “We have fresh fruit rolling in from different areas of the state. This is really the pinnacle of our season.”
The stomp competition is from 3 to 4 p.m., with prizes for first-, second-, and third-place winners. Off the Wall, a restaurant in Alamogordo, will pop up with burgers, green chile mac ’n’ cheese, and their unique take on egg rolls. You can also go on a behind-the-scenes tour of the Noisy Water facility and see the entire wine-making process from juice to barrel.
3 See new work by a renowned painter.
Fans of Fatima Ronquillo, a Santa Fe self-taught painter, include Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele. Ronquillo’s classically inspired paintings feature characters drawn from literature, opera, and theater, as well as from her own imagination. Her dreamily out-of-time works contain intricate details and textures that showcase Ronquillo’s masterful skills.
Borderlands, a new exhibition of her paintings, opens at Santa Fe’s Meyer Gallery on Friday with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. It includes a body of work inspired by disparate emotions and liminal places. Ronquillo was born in the Philippines and raised in San Antonio, Texas. The painting Borderlands reflects that background: Garments worn by the central subject include a barong tagalog-style shirt and a coat embroidered with flowers native to west Texas. See the exhibit through September 8.
4 Celebrate a patron saint.
An arts and crafts market, live music, and food are all part of the Santa Rosa de Lima Fiesta on Saturday in Abiquiú, hosted by the St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Parish. The festivities celebrate the historic Santa Rosa de Lima church, beginning with a 10 a.m. Mass at the church ruins off US 84. From there, a procession carries the saint’s statue to the village of Abiquiú, just up the road, where vendors in the plaza will sell handmade goods alongside hot dogs, hamburgers, and pastries. Live musicians perform throughout the day, including Johnny Sanchez y Puro Norte and Gabriella Tafoya, a young artist who has recorded with Roberto Martinez and others. Look forward to bingo and a cakewalk, too.
5 Chill at the park.
Hang out, listen to bilingual story time, see a puppet show, watch circus performers, play nature games, and eat paletas at Albuquerque’s Phil Chacon Park on Saturday. The Neighborhood Nature Festival, hosted by AMP Concerts, is a free, kid-friendly event from 9 a.m. to noon. Enjoy music by Kevin Kinane, aka Recycleman, who plays instruments made of repurposed materials. Check out wild urban animals during show and tell, do some hands-on science, and get your bike fixed by Esperanza Bike Shop’s pop-up repair clinic.