For almost 80 years, the Lea County Fair and Rodeo in Lovington has been kicking up bronco dust and summer excitement. The event draws nearly 100,000 visitors annually with its PRCA-sanctioned rodeo, live entertainment, agricultural exhibits, and family-friendly vibe. “Our fair is one of only 20 places in the U.S. to see the Xtreme Bulls riding competition, and the rodeo draws top competitors from the pro circuit,” says Event Director Lyn Edwards. A series of concerts includes a performance by country legend Dwight Yoakam. (575) 396-8521;

AUGUST 1–10, 15–16
The historic south-central town of Lincoln keeps Billy the Kid’s legend alive during Old Lincoln Days (August 1–3). Locals and visitors gather to witness three days of living-history demonstrations and reenactments—the blacksmithing is real, the gunfights are not—a parade, delicious cowboy-friendly food, and the Billy the Kid folk pageant, which acts out the Kid’s daring escape from the Lincoln County Courthouse. (575) 653-4372;

If July’s feature on Las Vegas (“Vegas Revival,” p. 36; piqued your curiosity, head there during Las Vegas Heritage Week (August 1–10). The more than 40 events include the Places with a Past Historic Homes Tour, art exhibitions, and a Las Vegas Musicians Reunited music festival (505-425-8803; Come back to the town for seconds during the Meadow City Music Fest (August 15–17), which features performances by the Jimmy Stadler Band (mid-tempo seventies radio–flavored rock ’n’ roll from Taos), Manzanares (northern New Mexico–infused Latin grooves), Austin-based Tejano sensation Ruben “El Gato Negro” Ramos, and many others.

AUGUST 18–24

The Southwest Association of Indian Arts (SWAIA) presents its 93rd Santa Fe Indian Market downtown (August 23–24) as part of a week’s worth of stellar entertainment and other events. The country’s largest juried show and sale of Native art, which includes work by more than 1,200 artists, attracting over 100,000 people each year, also includes a Native Cinema Showcase and a revamped Native American Regalia and Fashion Competition. “New this year is a Native Cinema Under the Stars event in the Santa Fe Railyard Park,” says John Paul Rangel, SWAIA’s new director of public relations. Canadian electronic-dance music outfit A Tribe Called Red, which was nominated for a Polaris Music Prize, brings a high-energy, contemporary spin on powwow music. The DJ/producer crew will perform in the courtyard of the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, along with legendary Santee Sioux singer-songwriter, poet, and activist John Trudell (505-983-5220; Simultaneously, over a hundred Native artists will present their work at the inaugural Indigenous Fine Art Market (August 20–23) at the Santa Fe Railyard, which will also hold a collectors’ dinner and a dance party.

The 2014 season at The Santa Fe Opera is, as always, packed with romance, intrigue, and a few surprises. Productions in August in the open-air amphitheater include Bizet’s Carmen, Beethoven’s Fidelio, Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, the U.S. premiere of Chinese-American composer Huang Ruo’s Dr. Sun Yat-sen, and two shorter works: Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol and Mozart’s The Impresario. Tailgating in the parking area before performances is heartily encouraged, as is attending one of several preperformance buffet dinners in the opera’s cantina, which is open-air, too. Dinner includes wine, dessert, and a talk about the evening’s performance with expert guest speakers.

On August 24 at the opera, Heath Concerts presents Anthony Dominick Benedetto, aka king crooner Tony Bennett, for an evening of jazz and pop standards, duets, and show tunes. Bennett will be joined by his longtime performance partner, daughter Antonia Bennett. (505) 986-5900;

Taos Ski Valley introduces the Berminator, a 3.6–mile intermediate flow trail (a dirt course that takes mountain bikers on a sort of roller-coaster experience) with thrilling berm turns, optional tabletop jumps, rock drops, and more. The trail will be open through September 28 (575-776-2291, ext. 2252; The Gravity Games & Brewfest (August 30–September 1) at Angel Fire Bike Park offers ride clinics, a New Mexico Enduro Race Series competition, the USA Cycling Gravity Mountain Bike National Championships (downhill and slalom), friendly jump and “whip-off” trick competitions, live music, and, of course, plenty of New Mexico–made craft beers. (575) 377-4293;

AUGUST 8, 13, 17, 19
On August 8, Academy of Country Music Award winner Eli Young and his band hit the Club 49 stage at Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino in Ruidoso (800-545-9011; UK symphonic-rock pioneers Yes get down at Route 66 Casino Hotel’s Legends Theater in Albuquerque (August 13). The band will perform their groundbreaking 1971 album, Fragile, in its entirety (505-352-7866; On August 17, the Isleta Amphitheater in Albuquerque welcomes Seattle grunge-era heavies Soundgarden and industrial-rock legends Nine Inch Nails (505-452-5200; At Sandia Resort & Casino’s stunning outdoor amphitheater in Albuquerque, boogie kings ZZ Top share the bill with guitar hero Jeff Beck (August 19). (505) 796-7500;

AUGUST 21–24
The organizers of the Albuquerque Latin Dance Festival know how to serve up a party with flair. Now in its fifth year, the festival hosts globally touring dance and music performances under the stars in Old Town’s historic plaza, and in the National Hispanic Cultural Center’s outdoor-performance facilities. “The festival is modeled after internationally recognized salsa congresses,” says the event’s executive director, James Foley. “The dancers and musicians we bring in put the event on par with comparable festivals in major coastal cities.” Performers include Albuquerque Cuban-music mainstays Son Como Son, renowned U.S. Latin-dance acts/instructors Edie the Salsa Freak, and members of the Majesty in Motion dance company. Along with dance workshops, the festival offers a free program of related lectures and films. (505) 980-3100;

AUGUST 29–31
Annually, since 2003, the Southwest Kiln Conference has landed in a different regional U.S. location. This year, the clay-crazed conferees converge on the small mountain village of Tijeras, 15 miles east of Albuquerque. Archaeologists, potters, ceramic-art enthusiasts, and anyone interested in the history, techniques, and technology of non-modern ceramic firing are invited to attend this one-of-a-kind camping, creating, and learning adventure. In addition to firing pieces of pottery using numerous fuels and firing methods (trench, pit, and surface kilns), there will be a day devoted to visiting sources in the area to collect clays for future firings. Camping spaces in the Cibola National Forest have been reserved for this event; space is limited.