Lift off for Balloon Fiesta.

Rainbow-colored hot-air balloons take to the skies over the Duke City beginning this weekend for the 50th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The fiesta, held October 1–9, is one of the most lauded and well-attended ballooning events in the world. The annual celebration includes tons of food, balloon glows at sunrise and sunset, giant balloons shaped like your favorite animals or characters, live music, a car show, fireworks, balloon rides, and mass ascensions. It starts bright and early on Saturday morning: Dawn patrol kicks off at 6 a.m. and mass ascension takes place an hour later. A twinkle glow happens at dusk, around 6 p.m., along with an 8 p.m. fireworks display. The event goes through the week and into next weekend, with loads of balloon- and non-balloon-related fun happening every day. Check the website for a full schedule and to buy tickets and read our story on balloon pilot Ray Bair before you go.

The fashions of iconic Native designer Lloyd Kiva New will walk the runway at Bishop’s Lodge, Auberge Resorts Collection, on Friday. Photograph courtesy of SWAIA.

2 Strike a historic pose.

A special presentation of vintage garments created by the late Cherokee designer Lloyd Kiva New (1916–2002) hits the runway at 4 p.m. Friday, at Bishop’s Lodge, Auberge Resorts Collection, in Santa Fe. The fashion show is curated by Amber-Dawn Bear Robe (Siksika), who also directs the annual Santa Fe Indian Market Indigenous Fashion Show. In homage to New, the influential Indigenous designer who co-founded the Institute of American Indian Arts in 1962, around 40 of his iconic looks for men and women will be featured on the catwalk.

“Half of these designs have never been seen before in public,” says Bear Robe. “It’s really history in the making. So much has been written and published about Lloyd Kiva New; he is considered a patriarch of Indigenous fashion. He broke a lot of ground with his work. It’s monumental to have this large of a fashion show and give his designs the attention they deserve.” You can see more of Lloyd Kiva New’s designs in Santa Fe at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts’s Art of Indigenous Fashion exhibition, through January 8, 2023.

Show off your Pride at the free Pride on the Plaza, in Las Cruces. Photograph by Unsplash/Brielle French.

3 Party for Pride.

The weeklong Pride celebration in Las Cruces culminates on Saturday afternoon with the free Pride on the Plaza event, from 5 to 10 p.m. “It starts with a Pride walk at 4:30 p.m. that begins at the plaza, walks around downtown, and comes back to the plaza to kick off the celebration,” says Robert Williams, chair of Southern New Mexico Pride for the past five years. Check out more than 50 vendors, including local organizations, artists, and craftsmen, plus food trucks and live entertainment from Singing Out Las Cruces, the local LGBTQ+ choir; DJ Robert Avila; and Karlos Saucedo. “We are expecting double the turnout we had last year,” Williams says.

Chikiyo Jackson's "What Was Mine" is among those included in the Neon & Chrome exhibit at Santa Fe's Community Gallery. Photograph courtesy of the Community Gallery.

4 Relive your Route 66 kicks.

The iconography of the highway John Steinbeck dubbed “the Mother Road” is celebrated in Neon & Chrome: The Visual Vocabulary of Route 66, opening at the Community Gallery, in Santa Fe, on Friday with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. that includes a street display of eight lowriders, courtesy of New Mexico Lowrider and Arte Culture. More than just a byway, Route 66 has inspired films, songs, and literature, becoming a piece of the cultural zeitgeist.

“It could be argued that Route 66 and the rise of the automobile changed the visual landscape of New Mexico forever,” writes Rod Lambert, assistant director of the City of Santa Fe’s arts and culture department. “Route 66 has achieved mythic status as a symbol of Americana, and the intent of this exhibit is to celebrate that myth and sometimes, in contrast, dispel the romance.” The exhibition includes works by more than 20 artists, including Angel Wynn, Joe Ramiro Garcia, and Warren B. Keating, encompassing a variety of mediums. See it through December 26.

New Mexico Brew Fest brings together craft brewers from all across the state. Photograph courtesy of New Mexico Brew Fest.

5 Raise a glass.

Craft breweries have taken off in New Mexico, where unique combos of local ingredients infuse lagers, ales, and stouts that represent the bounty of the mountains and desert. Held annually during Balloon Fiesta inside the Villa Hispana at Expo New Mexico, the New Mexico Brew Fest highlights the diversity of brewing talent in our state. It’s happening Saturday from 1 to 6 p.m.

Arrive and snag a pint glass for samples from 16 brewery stations. Look for tasty drinks by Tractor Brewing, Turtle Mountain Brewing Company, Sandia Hard Cider, Leaf & Hive Brewlab, and many more. “This event lets people try beers they wouldn’t normally try,” says Kevin Hopper, founder of Brew Fest. “People tend to stick to the beer in their neighborhood, and this event brings breweries from all over, like Enchanted Circle Brewing Company from Red River.”

Catch live performances from Red Light Cameras, an Albuquerque-based pop rock group, and the Big Spank, who play dance-worthy, upbeat tunes. Food trucks, local vendors, and games (including giant Jenga and a massive beer pong setup) round out the day.

Read more: Check out our full calendar listings for even more things to do.