1 Spice up your life.

The Fiery Foods & BBQ Show cranks up the heat at Sandia Resort & Casino in Albuquerque this weekend with outdoor cooking demonstrations, tastings, and parties. Founded by chile expert Dave DeWitt and his wife, Mary Jane Wilan, the three-day event features more than 170 exhibitors from throughout the country, promoting barbecue sauce, jellies, salsas, marinades, rubs, and peppery candy. Four bars throughout the event serve alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to cool your palate between tastings.

Pecans take center stage in Mesilla.

2 Go nuts for pecans.

Southern New Mexico is lush with pecan trees, which support a network of farmers who cultivate them. The New Mexico Pecan Festival, in Mesilla, celebrates this special agriculture on Saturday and Sunday with an artisan market, pecan vendors, boozy beverages, and live music. “We have so many pecan treats,” says Amanda Collier, owner of 360 Events, which produces the festival on Mesilla Plaza. “We have food trucks highlighting pecan dishes, a salsa company with a pecan salsa, jewelry vendors with pecan jewelry, and some vendors handing out free pecan recipes.”

Local musical favorites Chris Baker, 4 Winds Band, The Retroz Duet, and more perform throughout the weekend, while businesses throughout Mesilla celebrate the pecan with special drinks and dishes. Drop into Dry Point Distillers for a pecan Manhattan or enjoy a pecan dessert at Andele Restaurant. “It’s truly a community event,” Collier says. “We’re really proud of that.”

Young Voices of the Santa Fe Opera show off their talents at St. Francis Auditorium. Photograph courtesy of the Santa Fe Opera.

3 Hear budding opera singers.

High school students who love opera and classical music can turn that affinity into skills through the Young Voices of the Santa Fe Opera Program. Founded in 2008, the program provides students with professional Santa Fe Opera mentors who teach voice lessons, acting skills, musical coaching, and basic theory to prepare them for a career in the arts. A concert featuring the students kicks off in Santa Fe at the New Mexico Museum of Art’s St. Francis Auditorium on Saturday at 2 p.m. The performance marks the end of a creative exchange between the Santa Fe Opera and Florida International University School of Music.

The 2023 competitors in the Poetry Out Loud finals show off their awards. Photograph courtesy of New Mexico Arts.

4 Listen to poets.

Also in Santa Fe, the Poetry Out Loud finals take the stage at St. Francis Auditorium at the New Mexico Museum of Art on Sunday at 1 p.m. Nine high schoolers from across the state compete in the national program that encourages poetry education and recitation. Participants will recite poems they memorized from a canon of 1,200 classic poems. The winner earns a $200 prize for themselves, a $500 prize for their school, and a spot in the national finals.

5 See a modern opera.

The New Mexico Gay Men’s Chorus and Opera Southwest team up to bring Before Night Falls to the National Hispanic Cultural Center stage in Albuquerque for performances on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Based on the autobiographical book by Reinaldo Arenas and adapted into a film starring Javier Bardem, the story follows a gay man as he navigates his childhood in Cuba and his eventual escape from the country.

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