1 Let the good times roll.
Celebrate Mardi Gras in the Mountains during Red River’s annual blowout Thursday through Tuesday. Street parades, live musical performances, and costume parties take over venues all over town. Folks come from around the country, dressed up in Mardi Gras–themed outfits and ready to get into the winter carnival spirit. “In Red River, our whole business is showing people a good time,” says Ron Weathers, a member of the planning committee. “We take it pretty seriously, and we like having a good time ourselves. This event is something the locals really get behind, and we go all out.”
Catch Forest Huval & Bon Temps at Red River Brewing Company on Friday evening, a parade on Main Street on Saturday at 4:30 p.m., and the Chris Watson Band at the Motherlode Saloon at 9 p.m. Saturday evening. That’s just a taste of the jambalaya in store.
2 Go to the movies.
The 23rd annual Santa Fe Film Festival kicks off Friday. Through February 26, screenings, parties, and panels celebrate the world of cinema in the City Different. More than 100 films are included, with screenings at the New Mexico History Museum, CCA Santa Fe, the Scottish Rite Temple, and Jean Cocteau Cinema. “We have after-parties happening every night,” says Mike Galaxy, the festival’s new director. “One of the first things I did was research past festivals in New Mexico and Santa Fe, looking at the quality of films. Our programmer, Aaron Leventman, is brilliant. He’s selected some amazing films.” Buy a pass, which gets you access to all the screenings, parties, and panels, or purchase individual tickets for specific showings.
3 Sip local, shop local.
Art and wine intertwine at the annual Vines in the Pines festival, which takes over the Ruidoso Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday. More than 50 vendors sell handmade hats, paintings, jewelry, glass-blown artworks, and clothing. Sip wines from 12 New Mexico vineyards, or craft beer from Ruidoso’s Downshift Brewery.
“This is our sixth year doing this, and we do it in conjunction with the New Mexico Wine organization,” says Deborah Douds, executive director of the Ruidoso Valley Chamber of Commerce. “We bring the state’s best wineries, and people can get in out of the cold, have some great wine, and do some local shopping. We’ve added some great live music, including Eryn Bent on Sunday, who is really amazing.” The lineup also includes musicians Matthew Palmer and Deaney Davis.
Ruidoso got heaps of fresh snow this week. If you want to make a weekend of it, hit the slopes at Ski Apache, too. Catch Vines in the Pines from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
4 Peep a burlesque show.
Saturday-night dinner, a burlesque show, and an after-party featuring a performance from local retro-rockers Chicken Sedan are all part of the fun at Sagebrush Inn in Taos. Taos Burlesque started in 2015, specializing in classic burlesque styles with a twist. “Burlesque is a celebration of expression,” says founder and creative director Jessica Grimes, also known as Serendipity Moon. “We love to honor the roots of burlesque while bringing fresh ideas to the genre.” Look forward to ostrich-feather fans, chair dancing, comic storytelling, and more. You can buy a ticket at the door, but Grimes suggests purchasing ahead of time.
5 See the track superstars.
Some of the finest athletes in the nation gather at the Albuquerque Convention Center Thursday through Saturday for the USA Track and Field Indoor Championships. Athletes compete in pole vaulting, shot put, high jump, and long jump. Many are on a path to the Olympics. Get inspired by their strength and commitment.