Silhouetted against the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Santa Fe National Forest, Nambé Pueblo is an appropriate site for a Feast Day in honor of Francis of Assisi, patron saint of ecology. The celebration, which falls on a Saturday this year, begins with an early-morning mass, then opens into a festival where locals perform traditional dances, artists sell micaceous and black-on-black pottery, clothing, and jewelry, and cooks make Indian tacos from fresh frybread and red chile. Dress in layers for the unpredictable weather, advises Denise Perez, a Pueblo resident, “and don’t be afraid to ask questions. People are pretty hospitable.” (505) 455-2036; nambepueblo.org

OCTOBER 4–5, 18–19, 25–26
On October 4–5, Zuni Pueblo puts on the Ancient Way Fall Festival and Arts Market, during which a Native art fair and dances are accompanied by a farmers’ market in nearby Ramah (505-782-7238; zunitourism.com). On October 18–19, the Peanut Valley Festival, in Portales, goes nuts for the region’s sweet Valencia variety, with prizewinning brittle and a Peanut Olympics (575-356-8541; portales. com), and at the High Rolls Apple Festival you can nibble on a slice of pie while admiring local crafts (575-682-6044; mynm.us/highroll- sapple). Just in time for Halloween, the New Mexico Pumpkin Festival, October 25–26 in Las Cruces, culminates in the Great Pumpkin Smash, which involves a cherry picker, gravity, and a bunch of delighted kids. (575) 522-1232; newmexicopumpkinfestival.com

OCTOBER 4, 19, 25, 26
Runners, walkers, and cyclists, take your marks: This month New Mexico is off to the races, starting October 4 in Farmington with the Road Apple Rally. Though its days as a contest between horses and bicycles are done (spoiler: wheels won), this year’s biped-only event boasts 15- and 30-mile mountain bike loops (505-599-1184; roadapplerally. com). On October 19, over 5,000 runners will take to the Albuquerque streets for the Duke City Marathon (505-880-1414; dukecitymarathon.com)—but why stop at 26.2? South of Cuba, on October 25, ultramarathoners can chase a runner’s high on the Continental Divide Trail at the Deadman Peaks Trail Run, which tops out at 53 miles (505-908-7139; dp50.org), then cool down the following morning alongside cyclists and walkers at the Halloween- themed Day of the Tread in Albuquerque. (505) 247-1191; dayofthetread.com

OCTOBER 10–12, 17–18
Stein Ways
Learning German isn’t so hard. Oktober is October. Bier is beer. And fest, well, that’s pretty much universal for getting down. Put it all together and you’ve got Bavaria’s most popular cultural export, happening October 10–12 in Red River and October 17–18 in Ruidoso. Red River’s Oktoberfest features games, crafts, and authentic German cuisine (575-754-2366; redriveroktoberfest.com), while Ruidoso’s draws upwards of 4,000 for kids’ games in the Kinderhall and Salzburger Echo’s alphorn-and- cowbell jams. (575) 257-6171; oktoberfestruidoso.com

When Hurricane Katrina forced the composer and jazz pianist Roger Dickerson from his home, he did what any jazz musician would— he improvised, dropping in on an old Army buddy in New Mexico, and soon the Roswell Jazz Festival was born. This year’s edition starts on a high note with a performance by Jamaica’s Monty Alexander, whom festival director Michael Francis calls “one of the top jazz pianists on the planet.” The vibra-phonist and guest of honor Chuck Redd will play throughout the week. (575) 623-3711; roswelljazzfestival.org


“This will be the next Sundance or Telluride— the next big indie film festival in a mountain town,” says Jacques Paisner, executive director of the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival. This year’s lineup hews to that forward-thinking spirit, from a talk on the future of independent film by Ted Hope, CEO of the art-house streaming service Fandor, to buzz-heavy features like Five Star, which picked up an editing award at Tribeca. Even as it sets its sights on the international circuit, however, the SFIFF continues to make room for New Mexico standouts like Dying to Know, a documentary about Ram Dass by Santa Fe filmmaker Gay Dillingham, and Jane Rosemont’s Pie Lady of Pie Town. (505) 349-1414; santafeindependent.com

Roswell and space tend to have a one-way association, but it was Robert Goddard’s out- ward-bound rocketry there that first pushed New Mexico to the forefront of extraterrestrial exploration. “The space shuttle and all of the Apollo missions relied on liquid fuel,” which Goddard pioneered, explains Laurie Rufe, who helped to organize Aiming for the Stars, a celebration of his work. A free Friday panel features the astronaut Harrison Schmitt and Dr. Larry Crumpler, a lead scientist from the Mars Rover project. On Saturday, the Space Trail Expo shows off exhibits from NASA and the Very Large Array—a reminder that our state remains on the edge of the final frontier. (575) 622-1176; robertgoddard.org

Here’s a scary thought: On the Saturday before Halloween, ABQ BioPark will open its gates to some 18,000 people—its busiest day of the year. Costumed kids ages 3–12 get in free to the Zoo Boo, no tricks involved, and everyone’s in for a treat as they tour haunted zoo habitats and take part in the onstage screaming contest.

“We’ve never run out of candy yet,” promises organizer Maryann Torres (505-768-2000; abqbiopark.com). On October 24, the Bradbury Science Museum, in Los Alamos, will bring back High-Tech Halloween, where ghouls and boys can crawl through optical-illusion-enhanced adventure tunnels and experiment with dry ice. And on October 25, the Sugarite Halloween Trail, near Ratón, introduces kids to folks in black bear and mountain lion costumes, who after some outdoor safety lessons aren’t so frightening after all. (575) 445-5607; mynm.us/sugarite

“Until the assembly line, everything in the world was made by a blacksmith,” says World Championship Blacksmiths founder Craig Trnka, exaggerating only slightly. Forge a personal connection with the ancient profession on October 24–26, when Edgewood’s Wildlife West Nature Park hosts WCB’s national tour. The focus is on farriers—horseshoe special- ists—and the competition is stiff: In a head-to- head tournament, smiths have just 12 minutes to shape the perfect shoe from bar stock. During breaks in the action, Trnka encourages attendees to visit the park’s zoo, for a week-end that he calls “a hybrid of Animal Planet and West Coast Choppers.” (505) 281-8982; worldchampionshipblacksmiths.com

When some of the biggest stars in professional bull riding saunter into Clovis for the L.J. Jenkins Invitational, one will be bigger than the rest. He’s tall, dark, handsome, has over 2,600 Facebook fans, and weighs, oh, about three quarters of a ton. He’s Asteroid, the 2012 PBR Bull of the Year, and he leads a top-quality taurine contingent that will give Jenkins and his fellow competitors eight very rough seconds—if they’re lucky. Many riders will be fresh from the previous week’s PBR World Finals, climbing right back into the chute for what Coli Hunt, its promoter, calls “the biggest Touring Pro Division event in the United States. By far.” (575) 763-3764; on Facebook