Dusk, like summer itself, seems to last forever in New Mexico. With long, warm nights, bright skies, and some fascinating cultural event happening practically every day, summer is officially here. So what can you absolutely not miss? We’re here to help. This month’s International Folk Art Market and Spanish Market are world class. As is the Sante Fe Opera, which kicks off its season this weekend. I’m thrilled to have tickets to an upcoming performance of Candide, though I hear Doctor Atomic and Madame Butterfly will be extraordinary as well. 

July is also a great month to celebrate food and drink around the state, with the Santa Fe Wine Festival, the Rio Rancho Pork & Brew party, and the Ruidoso Art and Wine Festival. I know where our resident wine expert and Senior Editor, Gwyneth Doland, will be this weekend.

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“I’m really excited about the Santa Fe Wine Festival at Las Golondrinas,” she says. “The setting out there in La Cienega is gorgeous, with the big trees and the gurgling water. And there’s a lot more to do than there usually is at a wine festival—beyond the food, music, dancing, and vendors, the delights of the farm just never get old. So get out there close to noon, when it opens, slather the kids with sunscreen, and give them a little free reign while you focus on trying all the new wines. It’s a steal at $18 for adults, free for kids under 12, and only $5 for teens.”

Speaking of food, I believe that, come summer, ice cream is considered one of the major food groups. Doland has a beat on the innovative (and delicious) ice cream scene in Albuquerque, and the best places to get a cone throughout the state.

The Fourth of July is my favorite holiday—a day for eating grilled food and being outside with friends. What could be better? Here are five can’t-miss events throughout the state that will make this year’s celebration particularly memorable.

Need some water in your life to quench these hot, dry days? The Río Grande is running pretty low right now, but it’s still the lifeblood for so much of this state. This Puebloan raft guide teaches rafters about the river’s ancient culture. Or head to the stunning Abiquiú Lake. While you’re in the area, check out the Abiquiú Art Project and discover the under-the-radar artists there doing stunning work.

Want more? Pick up our July issue, on newsstands now, which has everything you need to know about summer in New Mexico. Or better yet, Subscribe.

As always, thanks for reading.

—Executive Editor, John Clary Davies