1 Prepare to say “woah!”
Immersive art installations using cutting-edge technology take over Taos from sunset to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday during The Paseo 2022. Nearly 30 local and national artists have crafted way-out-there works that will be projected onto the sides of adobe buildings throughout the historic district and will light up Kit Carson Park. Started in 2014, the festival took a two-year break during the pandemic but is roaring back, bigger than ever. “We are super excited because it’s been two years of planning and waiting during the pandemic,” says executive director Matt Thomas.
Museums and galleries might have do-not-touch policies, but The Paseo is all about interactivity. “The artwork is participatory, and it requires the audience to engage with it to fully see it,” Thomas says. “It’s art that’s outside, it’s large-scale, it’s projection, and new media. All of the pieces are activated by light. Things really get exciting when the sun sets.” Both days are free. Wear your most stylish but walkable shoes.
2 Have a good laugh.
“Who doesn’t like to laugh?” asks Jessica Baxter, director and founder of the CloudTop Comedy Festival in Santa Fe this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Each day brings a new lineup of comedians to perform at Railyard-area venues like the Social Kitchen + Bar, Violet Crown, and the farmers’ market space. “Part of our mission is to be really inclusive, and that means a few different things for us,” Baxter says. “We want to showcase many different comedians and have a lot of different voices on the stage, but it also means being inclusive in who can come to the festival.”
The lineup features the 14 best jokers from a total of 265 submissions and includes Indigenous and LGBTQ+ comedians. Some events are free, like the nightly open mic at 4 p.m. and happy hour showcases at 5 p.m. On Friday, the Indigenous Comedy Showcase includes Ricardo Caté (Kewa), creator of the Without Reservations comic strip. Each night at 8:30 p.m., up-and-coming comedians star in the Future Comedy showcase. “Future comedy is my favorite,” Baxter says. “It’s a rising-star showcase, and we think some will be really famous someday.”
3 Be a culture hero.
The Cultural Bazaar fills the Branigan Cultural Center courtyard, in Las Cruces, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. It highlights some of southern New Mexico’s cultures with information booths hosted by student groups from New Mexico State University. Learn about clothing, dance, art, and customs from around the world, plus snacks representing different cuisines. “The Branigan Cultural Center likes to highlight the variety of cultures in this area and all the expressions of those cultures,” says education manager Mina Stafford. “We do this program to continue that mission.”
4 Break a piñata.
The Roswell Hispano Chamber of Commerce hosts the 35th annual Piñata Festival Friday through Sunday, with the chance to make a piñata, eat a ton of jalapeños and tacos in two eating contests, listen to live music, and gobble goodies from 12 local food trucks. It includes performances by the Cavern City Boys, Escolta Privada, Grupo Dulzura, and Así Se Baila, plus a Mass on Sunday at 10 a.m. “One of the highlights of the event is the piñata-making booth,” says Marcos Nava, executive director of the chamber. “Any child who wants to can come and make a piñata at no cost to the family.”
More than 40 vendors will sell crafts and handmade jewelry, and kids will get plenty of chances to break piñatas stuffed with candy. “I remember loving piñata birthday parties when I was a kid,” Nava says. “They are so much fun.”
5 Celebrate a change-maker.
During the early 1900s’ movement for women’s suffrage, Nina Otero Warren led the charge in New Mexico. She also served as superintendent of Santa Fe schools, campaigned for a bilingual school system, and later ran for congress. Her achievements get a national spotlight with the release of a new U.S. coin featuring her likeness, part of the American Women Quarters Program. The New Mexico History Museum celebrates her legacy on Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The free event includes ballet folklórico, mariachi music, a fashion show, a Chautauqua performance, and kids’ crafts.