1 Make the most of the eclipse.
New Mexico gets a great view of the annular solar eclipse on Saturday. The moon passes between the Earth and the sun at 10:35 a.m. MDT, casting a shadow and creating what is known as a ring of fire. Some cities sit along the centerline, where viewers can see the eclipse in its entirety. These include Hobbs, Farmington, Los Alamos, Gallup, and Roswell. Other places in New Mexico will have a partial view. Read our tips for making the most of the eclipse here. Plus, lots of celebrations and events are happening around it. Here are a few to check out.
At the planetarium at the Pajarito Environmental Education Center on Friday from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., astronomer Galen Gisler explains the upcoming eclipse. Gisler will detail the movement on the earth, sun, and moon, and how their paths create the annular eclipse. At press time, this event is sold out, but visitors can register for a waiting list.
Eclipse Viewing Parties
On Saturday, attend a viewing party at Los Alamos High School’s inner courtyard from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hosted by LAHS’s astronomy club, as well as participation from the community, the event will provide eclipse glasses to attendees along with viewing safety information, a projection of the eclipse on an outdoor screen, educational booths, and other scientific activities.
With a great view along the centerline, the Roswell Astronomy Club hosts a viewing of the annular solar eclipse at Cielo Grande Recreation Area on Saturday from 9:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. The club, which began in the 1960s, will have solar telescopes set up near the former airfield and T-shirts, glasses, and stickers available.
Balloon Fiesta Park will be among the prime locations for viewing the eclipse on Saturday from 9:13 a.m. t0 12:13 p.m. So catch the Mass Ascension and get one of the 80,000 solar eclipse viewing glasses handed out by NASA scientists, who will be on hand for presentations and to answer questions.
With 16 of New Mexico’s 33 state parks in the path of the annularity. Several parks, including Manzano Mountains, Leesburg Dam, Villanueva, and Rio Grande Nature Center will be handing out viewing glasses and hosting events to celebrate the eclipse.
Ring of Fire Eclipse Weekend
Just outside Santa Fe, Bishop’s Lodge is celebrating the celestial event with a weekend full of fun, including stargazing with an expert guide on Friday evening. Catch the sky on the Lamy Chapel lawn from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Attend a watch party for the eclipse on Saturday from 9 to 11 a.m. at the SkyFire patio. There will be crafting activities for kids, eclipse sunglasses for everyone, and celestially inspired refreshments.
Fall Festival & Viewing
The nine-day celebration of fall at the Valles Caldera National Preserve brings a slew of activities to the national preserve this weekend, where the season means bugling elk and autumnal colors.
Hit the Fiesta Tent on Friday at the park’s entrance, where special guests will chat about the night sky and the importance of preserving it. Take a walk with a ranger at 10 a.m. around Cerro La Jara or a walk at 1 p.m. around the Cabin District. Attendance for a night sky viewing program is full.
Visitors who observe the eclipse from the park can participate in a citizen science project from NASA which asks eclipse-viewers to notice how the eclipse affects animals at the preserve. Grab viewing glasses at the Fiesta Tent and an observation form from a ranger to join the scientific fun.
On Sunday, head into the Fiesta Tent to visit with park employees and special guests about the park’s sustainable practices, how to manage sustainability in a changing world, talks on current climates, and the prevention of wildfires. Take a walk with a ranger at 10 a.m. around Cerro La Jara or a walk at 1 p.m. around the Cabin District. Check the event webpage for a full lineup of weekend events.
2 Fill up on pasta and movies.
If you’re into movies and carbs, take a trip to Ratón this weekend and catch the Spaghetti & Westerns Fest. The third annual event includes film screenings, honky tonk dances, and oodles of spaghetti dinners in both Ratón and Trinidad, Colorado, who collaborate to create this one-of-a-kind bash.
On Friday, some of the best chefs in the region compete in a sauce-off to see who can whip up the best pasta sauce. Expect tons of spaghetti, live music, Western art, and karaoke at the A.R. Museum of Western Art in Trinidad, starting at 6 p.m. Afterward, folks can two-step the night away at a Honky Tonk Hootenanny at the Trinidad Lounge.
On Saturday morning, make your way to the Trinidad platform at 9 a.m. for an eclipse viewing party. At 11 a.m., head to Ratón’s Theatre Row on Second Street for a variety of film screenings. At 4 p.m., celebrate happy hour at Gate City Craft Bar in Ratón, then gear up for another Hootenanny.
3 Attend the opening of a new exhibition.
More than 70 artists based in northern New Mexico have work in the Taos Abstract Artist Collective’s Fall Exhibition, opening with a reception Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Stables Gallery at the Taos Center for the Arts.
“We have great diversity in the media of work,” says Lauren Smith, co-founder and board member at the Taos Abstract Artist Collective. “We have a lot of sculptural pieces, installation work, video work. It will be wonderful to exhibit abstract photography alongside stone sculpture.”
The collective received more than 35o submissions made by 140-plus artists. “The curatorial process was a huge undertaking,” Smith says. “This exhibition is really cohesive; it hangs together well in terms of aesthetic form and material and texture and mood.” You can see the pop-up style exhibition through October 21.
4 Take a tour of history.
Killers of the Flower Moon, first a book by David Grann, and now an upcoming movie directed by Martin Scorsese, delves into the story of real-life investigator Alex Street, who got his start in Tucumcari before going on to solve the 1920s murders of dozens of Osage citizens in Oklahoma. Ahead of the film’s premiere on October 20, Tucumcari MainStreet and the Tucumcari Railroad Museum offer a walking tour, “The Hauntings of Alex Street,” which explores the famous investigator’s history in town.
“Alex Street was one of the town’s founding fathers,” says Connie Loveland, executive director at Tucumcari MainStreet. “It will be a leisurely tour in a three-block radius downtown.”
On the tour, attendees will see a building which once housed a Street-owned saloon, as well as a mural of the founding father. “This is a chance to take in the life and times of the Old West,” says tour curator Laura Love. “Walk some dark and dusty trails and discover saloon shootouts, hear about manhunts for murderers, and learn about some pretty famous undercover operations.” The tour starts at the Tucumcari Railroad Museum at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings. If you can’t make this weekend, go on October 20 to enjoy the final tour. Tickets are $20, and you can buy them here.
5 Lend an ear to new stories.
The Taos Storytelling Festival celebrates the transformative capacity of words. Celebrate its 25th anniversary with a two-day fest including workshops, performances, and a story swap. “Humanity had oral storytelling for centuries before the written word,” says Jan Smith, executive director at SOMOS. “Our human brains are wired for story. Everything we see—TV shows, movies, commercials, articles—they are all about story. This festival is an opportunity to reawaken our sense of stories.”
On Friday, attend a free community storytelling event with speakers curated by Olivia Romo, an Española-based activist and bilingual poet who focuses on water rights and the importance of the ancestral acequia system in northern New Mexico. It happens at the Talpa Community Center in Ranchos de Taos at 6 p.m.
Sarah Malone, a bilingual storyteller with more than 30 years of experience in both kids’ and adults’ stories, leads a ticketed workshop Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon. A free story swap happens from 2 to 3:30 p.m. at Martinez Hacienda and is open to the public to share their stories or to listen.
The main event is a performance at 7 p.m. by local storytellers and Two Worlds: A Native Theater & Performing Arts Troupe. “All of the actors are Native, and they will perform a full-length production of Spider Woman Stories,” says Smith. The 75-minute production is ticketed; you can buy them ahead of time through the Taos Center for the Arts, or at the door.