1 Go West(ern).
Northern New Mexico and southern Colorado combine forces to celebrate cowboys and carbs this weekend at the second annual Colexico Experience Spaghetti & Westerns Festival (its name combines Colorado and New Mexico).
Start with a pasta dinner Friday at the A.R. Mitchell Museum of Western Art, in Trinidad, Colorado. Local restaurants compete to see who makes the best pot of sauce. Cowgirl poet Lindy Simmons reads her works, and folks can sing country karaoke during the meal. Head to the Well Hotel & Taproom for a drag show by the Queens of Colexico, and then dance the night away at a honky-tonk hootenanny at the Trinidad Lounge with a performance by Santa Fe’s Westin McDowell.
On Saturday, ride Amtrak’s Southwest Chief from Trinidad to Ratón, where the festival continues with a classic lineup of Western films at the Historic Shuler Theater and El Raton Theatre. After the screenings, ride the train back to Trinidad for a live performance of Blazing Guns at Roaring Gulch, a Western melodrama, on the town’s main street. The festival wraps with the Enigmatic Western Grindhouse, a film event that shows a “bad Western film” and then gives the mic to comedians who roast the movie, and another honky-tonk dance party at the Trinidad Lounge. “We have sold a lot of tickets,” says Wally Wallace, founder of the Spaghetti & Westerns Festival. “I think there will be a really good turnout.”
2 See films with a purpose.
The sixth annual Albuquerque Chinese American Film Festival takes over Grace Church, in Albuquerque, on Saturday. “Our goal is to tell stories that pertain to Chinese Americans from the perspective of Chinese Americans,” says festival chairperson Paul Jew. “Our theme this year is Our Common Humanity. When people are able to experience these stories, some of their racial stereotypes will be questioned, and they will see that Chinese Americans are people just like them, with challenges just like they have.”
The festival’s five films include the animated Netflix movie Over the Moon, the award-winning The Farewell, and the documentary Vincent Who? about a young Chinese American murdered by two men in Detroit in 1982 and the movement that grew in the wake of the crime. Admission is free, with a suggested donation of $10. Register to attend.
3 Bejewel yourself.
Vintage and contemporary Native jewelry earns the spotlight in a new exhibition opening at the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, in Santa Fe, with a reception on Sunday from 3 to 5 p.m. The Stories We Carry features stunning pieces by over 100 Indigenous artists, all of whom attended the Institute of American Indian Arts. Guest curated by Brian Fleetwood (Mvskoke Creek), the collection highlights jewelry as a medium that communicates and preserves identity and possesses the power to inspire storytelling. See it through September 20, 2024.
4 Party at the park.
Put on your pegged pants and oversized suit jacket Saturday for the sixth annual Zoot Suit Pachanga & Car Show at Klein Park, in Las Cruces, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The event includes cars, a costume contest, dancing, performances, live music, and local vendors. “People love the costume contest,” says spokesperson Patsy Sanchez. “Before the contestants strut their stuff, they do a dance, like a swing dance, and people really enjoy it.”
Sanchez made candy bags for the first 80 kiddos who attend. Expect over 50 classic cars, radical rides, and tremendous trucks, plus delicious food. Ballet folklórico performances, plus live tunes from La Sencilla Lopez, the Retros, and Wild Card happen throughout the day. “It’s a really great, family-friendly, free event,” Sanchez says. “I am sure it will be great for the kids.”
5 Throw an atlatl.
Learn about ancient cultures Saturday during the New Mexico Archaeology Fair at the Bernalillo Community Museum, in the town of Bernalillo. Hosted by the state Historic Preservation Division, it includes a chance to make pinch pots, create tools from rock by flintknapping, see museum exhibits from participants like the Explora Science Center, hang out with a live turkey, and test your arm with an atlatl, a hunting tool used by New Mexico’s earliest inhabitants.
“Over the last 30 years, the Archaeology Fair has been a way for us to bring archaeology to the people of New Mexico,” say state historic preservation officer Jeff Pappas. “The fair is really about communities coming together to celebrate public archaeology in the Land of Enchantment.” The free fair happens from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.