1 Join the jubilation.
Juneteenth Celebration, Santa Fe
Juneteenth commemorates the day in 1865 when Black people in Texas were officially informed of the Emancipation Proclamation, becoming the last enslaved people to gain freedom. Santa Fe dances in commemoration on Sunday from 5 to 9 p.m. during the Juneteenth Celebration, a free party with music, poetry, food, and DJs on the Plaza.
Musicians Chali 2Na and Cut Chemist, who have been part of renowned groups like Jurassic 5 and Ozomatli, headline the performances. Santa Fe’s own Raashan Ahmad emcees the event and plays a live DJ set, too. “It feels good that an event that centers on and amplifies Black history, voices, culture, and community is happening in the center of our city,” Ahmad says. “Juneteenth is also known as Jubilee Day, Emancipation Day, and Freedom Day. It’s a complicated thing to celebrate, but I am looking forward to being in the community with my friends from all over the city to raise a good vibration for past, present, and future generations.”
Juneteenth Jazz Festival, Las Cruces
Las Cruces marks the holiday through the weekend with the Juneteenth Jazz Festival, combining concerts, a film screening of Pixar’s Soul, an art festival, and live music at the Plaza de Las Cruces. “The festival is a way to celebrate, educate, and create both community and awareness around this now officially recognized federal holiday,” says Derrick Lee, a member of the New Mexico Music Commission and organizer of the jazz festival. “We do this through the Black American music widely known as jazz. This music is rooted in the traditions of improvisational expression, storytelling, and community, and has a rich history that has shaped our nation.” See a full schedule of events on the website.
Juneteenth New Mexico, Albuquerque
Performances by Mick Jenkins, Austin Mills, Khalisol, and many more take over Civic Plaza in Albuquerque on Saturday and Sunday during Juneteenth New Mexico, a party hosted by Blkgld Collective with food and drink vendors. Check out a playlist of tunes from the performers on the event’s website.
2 Get your twang on.
Hear live performances by some of Nashville’s talented singer-songwriters on Saturday in Eagle Nest during the Nashville to New Mexico music festival. It happens from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Enchanted Eagle Park, with Billy Dawson, Aaron Barker, and Rodney Clawson taking the stage. Clawson has written music for country stars such as Jason Aldean and Tim McGraw; Barker has worked with legends such as George Strait; and Dawson recently won Artist of the Year at the Nashville Independent Music Arts Awards. While these artists live and work in Nashville, they find inspiration in the quiet beauty of northern New Mexico, and this festival celebrates that relationship. Tickets are $25.
3 Step into art.
In 1972, Judy Chicago—with the help of her students from Fresno State College and artist Miriam Schapiro—created Womanhouse, a work inspired by women’s experiences of domestic life that took over an old house in Hollywood. In 2022, Chicago gives new life to the idea by re-creating the project in Belén, where she lives and works. At Wo/Manhouse 2022, 19 New Mexico–based artists join Chicago in filling a home with works of art that confront contemporary notions of domesticity. Opening Saturday, it includes choreographer Rosemary Carroll, who contributes a performance piece, and Apolo Gomez, who transforms the master bedroom into an installation that addresses queerness. See the exhibit through October 9.
4 Hang out with your dad.
Take Dad to celebrate Father’s Day in Ruidoso, where Party in the Pines perks up Wingfield Park on Saturday and Sunday. The fiesta includes live musical performances, the Brewdoso Beer and Wine Festival, food, and summer fun. Performers include Americana and country artists Fabian Romero, the Memphis Band, the Justin Kemp Band, Chase Bryant, and Pat Green. The beer festival offers some of New Mexico’s best craft brews from breweries like Ex Novo and Bonito Valley, plus wine from Noisy Water Winery and sips from Sacred Ground Spirits. Get your tickets here.
5 Vamos a la fiesta.
Western New Mexico University hosts a four-day party celebrating the state’s Latino/a heritage with music, flavors, crafts, tequila tastings, and hands-on activities for the kids during the fourth annual ¡Fiesta Latina! Head to Regents Square on the university campus, in Silver City, Thursday through Sunday. Some events are free; some are ticketed. An arts and crafts market with 30 Mexican artisans features jewelry, ceramics, and textiles. On Sunday afternoon, see a traditional charro presentation of horsemanship put on by the Castro family of Las Cruces. After a two-year pandemic blackout, Alexandra Tager, WNMU’s director of cultural affairs, promises the event will be bigger and better than ever. “We are aiming for a triumphant return with a full schedule of events,” she says. ¡Que viva!