1 Get festive.
Memorial Day weekend marks the start of summer fun all over the state, including more than 25,000 bikers who will roll into northern New Mexico for the 40th annual Red River Motorcycle Rally. Their festival at Brandenburg Park and on Main and River streets includes vendors, live music, food trucks, and tons of cool rides. “It’s an iconic event,” says Max Khudiakov, Red River’s tourism and economic development director. “It brings bikers from all over the country to a small town in the Rockies for a one-of-a-kind party.” The Motherlode Saloon and Bull O’ the Woods host bands like El Diablo Trio, Rude Boy Experiment, and Touching VooDoo throughout the three-day weekend.
In Farmington, Riverfest gushes forth at 5 p.m. Friday with entertainment, food trucks, and VIP tents at both Animas Park and Berg Park. On Saturday, take to the river and raft the rapids with guided trips departing every hour. (A shuttle takes you back to the park.) Call Desert River Guides in advance to book a spot (505-427-7734). Plan on a visit to a beer garden, tractor rides, a car show, disc golf, plein air painting, a wiener dog race, and live music from the Zia Chicks, Sandstoners, Breezin’, the Brant Leeper Band, and more.
2 Cure the blues.
Fifty breweries show off unique beers at the ABQ Blues and Brews Festival, at Sandia Resort & Casino on Sunday. The event celebrates the beginning of ABQ Beer Week with live performances from eight bands on five stages. Try lagers, IPAs, hard seltzers, cider, cocktails, pilsners, and ales from breweries and distilleries including Ex Novo Brewing Co., Hollow Spirits, Marble Brewery, Safe House Distilling Co., and Toltec Brewing. Event producer Marne Gatson encourages experimentation. “If you don’t like something,” she says, “you can pour it out and move on.” Performers include Levi Platero (Diné), Joe Daddy and Friends, and Nathan Fox.
You can also jive and jam to live performances all weekend during the 27th Annual Silver City Blues Festival. It kicks off on Friday at Q’s Southern Bistro at 6 p.m. The main event happens Saturday at Gough Park from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., where festival goers can visit a beer garden by Little Toad Creek Brewery & Distillery, nibble eats from food trucks, and shop locally made goods from 30 vendors at the makers’ market. Performers include Eddie Turner, who creates a unique blend of rock, voodoo blues, and African rhythms; and Hector Anchondo, a smoky, bluesy lyricist. The fun continues with Sunday brunch at the Toad and more live blues into the afternoon.
3 Sample sensibly.
The New Mexico Wine Festival takes root in both Albuquerque and Las Cruces this weekend. The theme is Wine Garden, so expect floral arrangements, water features, bouquet-making classes, and flower-themed paint-with-wine classes. “The idea was to capture the vitality of spring, and bring it to the festival,” says Chris Goblet, executive director.
At Balloon Fiesta Park, in Albuquerque, sip varieties from local vintners including Casa Rodeña Winery, Gruet, Sheehan Winery, Jaramillo Vineyards, and Black Mesa Winery from 12 noon to 6 p.m. Saturday through Monday. Local sensations like Nosotros, the Kyle Martin Band, and Baracutanga will perform.
The Cruces bash blossoms at the Southern New Mexico Fairgrounds, same days, same times. Participating wineries include Amaro Winery, Acequia Vineyards, Corrales Winery, and Noisy Water. Performers include C.W. Adams & The 3W Band, Chris Baker, and Radio Altivo.
4 Go West(ern).
Chama Western Heritage Days bucks into town with rodeos, live music, and a flag ceremony this weekend. The event includes a draft horse competition, Boots & Buckles (a kids’ rodeo), a cornhole competition, and 5K and 10K runs. The adults’ Open Rodeo begins at 2 p.m. Sunday with bull riding, calf roping, bareback riding, and more. Venues around Chama will have live music, including at Foster’s Saloon and Rio Chama Espresso.
5 Search for treasure.
The 18th annual Native Treasures Art Market takes place this weekend at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. Hosted by the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, the event showcases stellar jewelry, ceramics, sculpture, textiles, and more. It starts on Saturday evening with a special night market honoring Virgil Ortiz (Cochiti Pueblo), recipient of the museum’s 2022 Living Treasure award, from 5 to 8 p.m. It continues Sunday and Monday.