Above: The New Mexico State Fair midway lights up the night. Photograph courtesy of the New Mexico State Fair.

Meet me at the fair.

The wafting aroma of indulgent fried foods, the joyous roars of the midway, and the hum of live music fill the grounds and buildings at Expo New Mexico, in Albuquerque, for the first time since 2019, through September 19. “After nearly two years without a fair, we are confident that this year’s State Fair is going to be one you’ll never forget,” says General Manager Dan Mourning. “With the COVID-19 practices set in place, the fair is going to be a safe and fun place to bring your family and make the memories you have been missing for so long.”

Pick your favorites: the rodeo, art exhibits, carnival rides, car shows, prize-worthy animals, and 50 food vendors with wacky treats like fried cheese curds and Oreo ice cream tacos. The concert series includes a performance by ’90s alt-rock sensations the Goo Goo Dolls.

Take note: Everyone 12 and over must provide proof of vaccination to be admitted. Masks are required indoors and encouraged outdoors when the crowds are too tight for social distancing.

The Lensic Theater in Santa FeThe Lensic Theater in Santa Fe plays host to the Santa Fe Symphony. Photograph by Kate Russell.

Hear the Santa Fe Symphony.

Classical music fills the Lensic Performing Arts Center at 4 p.m. Sunday, when the Santa Fe Symphony kicks off its first live performance since the pandemic began. Guest violinist Alexi Kenney, 2020 recipient of the Borletti-Buttoni Trust Award, joins Guillermo Figueroa as they perform Reich’s Duet for Two Violins. Get your ticket in advance.

September 11 Tribute RugDiné weaver Marilyn Y. Scott's September 11 Tribute Rug is on display at the Albuquerque Museum this weekend. Photograph courtesy of the Albuquerque Museum.

Never forget.

A Navajo weaving commemorating 9/11 by Diné weaver Marilyn Y. Scott is taking center stage at the Albuquerque Museum. Designed by Scott’s son shortly after the 2001 terrorist attacks, the 85-by-120-inch work took months for Scott to weave. “The September 11 Tribute Rug is important both because it is executed by a contemporary Diné weaver, and because the subject matter addresses a topic we cannot otherwise tell with objects in our collection,” says Leslie Kim, curator of history at the Albuquerque Museum. The weaving will be on view through January 2022.

San Miguels From Burro Trail 2Hike the Falls Trail at Bandelier National Monument during Saturday's guided backcountry hike. Photograph courtesy of Bandelier National Monument.

Walk this way.

Intrepid hikers can snag a deeper look into the vast lands surrounding Bandelier National Monument on a backcountry guided hike. Learn the paths to new delights and hear stories about the Ancestral Pueblo people who occupied the region. This Saturday, the Falls Trail hike starts at 10 a.m. The three-mile trip takes about two hours. On September 18, hike into Mid Alamo Canyon beginning at 9 a.m. Expect around four hours to make that seven-mile trip. You must wear sturdy footwear, bring a lot of water, healthy snacks, and in some cases, lunch. Reservations are required, and there are only 10 spots on each hike. 

Ruidoso Kite FestivalColor—and wind—rule during the Ruidoso Kite Festival. Photograph courtesy of the Ruidoso Kite Festival.

Let’s go fly a kite.

Professional kite fliers show off some mad skillz during the Ruidoso Kite Festival this weekend at the White Mountain Sports Complex. Attendance is free, but bring some change to purchase a make-your-own-kite kit. Snack on kettle corn and other refreshments while you marvel at aerial dragons, birds, and other fantastical shapes. “This is a great family event,” says Rodney Griego, director of Ruidoso Parks and Recreation. “The fun part is seeing the kids running to catch the wind to keep their kite up in the air.”