MAY 29–31, JUNE 11–JULY 5
You can watch a pair of Elizabethan theater classics—one comic, one tragic—beneath a canopy of stars this month. Beginning June 11, Thursdays through Sundays at downtown’s Albuquerque Civic Plaza, the Vortex Theatre stages that infamous tale of conspiratorial political intrigue, Julius Caesar, in rotation with The Taming of the Shrew, the inspiration for such beloved modern adaptations as Cole Porter’s musical Kiss Me, Kate and the ‘90s rom-com 10 Things I Hate About You. (505-247-8600; Coincidentally, the Santa Fe Shakespeare Society is staging an indoor production of Taming of the Shrew—the Bard of Avon’s bawdy romantic comedy comes to Scottish Rite Temple May 29–31. The company will also perform The Tempest at various venues around the state in July and August. (505) 490-6271;

JUNE 1–7
One of the state’s up-and-coming cinema fests, Albuquerque Film & Music Experience presents 66 movies, plus a slew of provocative arts events, including a spoken-word night with American Book Award poet and Santa Fe native Jimmy Santiago Baca (see our article about Baca in this issue, "Freedom Writer," Many films have local ties, including The Life, Blood, and Rhythm of Randy Castillo, about New Mexico’s late heavy metal drummer, and A Thousand Voices, in which women from Cochiti, Santa Clara, Jicarilla Apache, and other tribes around the state share affirming, candid stories about gender equality and cultural changes within the Southwest’s Native American communities. (505) 265-7866;

JUNE 3–6
More than 800 athletes ages 50 and older compete in Roswell at the New Mexico Senior Olympics, where some two dozen sports are represented, from traditional athletics, like track and swimming, to less typical competitions such as the traditional Hispanic game huachas, which is similar to horseshoes. (888) 623-6676;

JUNE 3–7
The long, warm days of June seem custom-made for hitting the open road, ideally in a vintage car. One of the state’s most celebrated stretches of Route 66 passes through Tucumcari, which pays homage to the Mother Road during the Rockabilly on the Route Festival. A slew of rollicking greaser bands are on hand, including the Creepshow, Wayne “the Train” Hancock, and Reno Divorce. Saturday’s Classic Car and Vintage Bike Show is always a big hit. Note to your inner wild child: The ceremonies conclude June 7 with a Tiki-a-Go-Go Pool Party at retro-cool Tristar Inn Xpress, complete with a limbo line. (505) 795-0307;

JUNE 4–7
The citizens of Aztec usher in summer sunshine with a conflagration on the evening of June 6. The burning of the Old Man Gloom effigy caps off Aztec Fiesta Days, a long weekend of carnival rides, auto races at Aztec Speedway, and family activities. (505) 334-7646;

“If I were to sum up the Albuquerque Folk Festival with one word, it’s participation,” says event director Gary Libman. “Everybody brings their instruments, and most of the performers also lead workshops.” A few hundred of the most passionate attendees of this folk jam at the Anderson-Abruzzo International Balloon Museum even camp overnight Friday and Saturday nights. You can take lessons in traditional folk disciplines (the mountain dulcimer, Balkan singing), partake of a Celtic sing-along, and watch dozens of concerts. Headliners include touring artists and local heroes like the Handsome Family. According to Libman, the evening “band scramble” is must-see. “People write the name and the instrument they play on pieces of paper and are then randomly assigned to perform together in a band.” After a brief rehearsal, these motley crews compete before a panel of judges. Per the official rules, bribery “should be discreet, but disclosed—and is encouraged!” (505) 247-9177;

JUNE 6, 18–20, 27–28
Adrenaline junkies can choose from several thrilling events this month. You can shoot the famously rousing 17-mile stretch of the Río Grande known as Taos Box, which abounds with Class IV whitewater rapids, during a one-day rafting adventure organized by the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance on June 6; the Alliance also offers a Rio Chama rafting trip on July 26 (505-843-8696; Amid the spectacular red rocks near Gallup, the 67th annual Lions Club Rodeo—one of the most popular events of the All Indian Rodeo Cowboys Association—features three days (June 18–20) of bareback bronc riding, cowgirls’ barrel racing, and steer wrestling (505-870-6407; The endurance-driven 24 Hours in the Enchanted Forest twists and turns through 19.7 miles of exacting singletrack on June 20, just east of Gallup amid the breath-taking wilderness of Zuni Mountain. Teams of dogged mountain bikers attempt to complete as many laps as possible over the course of one grueling 24-hour period (505-863-4228; Later in the month, road bikers test their mettle in Angel Fire during the two-day Rough Riders 200 rally, June 27–28. You can compete on Saturday on the Southern Route (via Guadalupita Valley, Vadito, and Taos) or Sunday on the Northern Route (Enchanted Circle), both of which feature tough slogs over 9,000-plus-foot passes. The fittest of the bunch compete on both days, covering a lung-busting 200 miles. (575) 224-1595;

JUNE 7–13
Albuquerque’s renowned National Institute of Flamenco hosts its 28th annual Festival Flamenco this June. Dedicated to the mesmerizing, flamboyant dance form that traces its deep folkloric roots to the Spaniards and Romani “Gypsies” of 18th-century Andalusia, this series of nightly concerts takes place at UNM’s Rodey Theatre and the National Hispanic Cultural Center. (505) 242-7600;

Ms. Claudette “the Bluz Queen” King, who learned the trade from her father, B.B. King, headlines this year’s River & Brews Music Festival, held at the foot of pine-aired Gold Rush Hill at the Red River Ski Area Chalet on Saturday, June 13. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs and sample craft ales from local microbreweries while tapping your toes to several other stellar acts, among them the R&B–inflected Pleasure Pilots and Southern-style rockers Dan Johnson and the Salt Cedar Rebels. (575) 754-2366;

JUNE 13, 27
Painter Agnes Martin, designer Tom Ford, and actors Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Neil Patrick Harris are among the LGBT luminaries who have called diverse and tolerant New Mexico home. The state’s largest communities host Gay Pride festivals in June, starting with Albuquerque Pride on June 13 at Expo New Mexico Fairground, featuring live music, an art show, and a parade through Nob Hill along Central Avenue (505-873-8084; On June 27, Southern New Mexico Pride consists of a parade and festival at Pioneer Park in Las Cruces (, and that same day the Santa Fe Human Rights Alliance presents Santa Fe Pride on the Plaza, with pop star Janice Robinson headlining. (505) 216-1595;