May 3–5

Fiesta Forever

Celebrate Hispanic culture in Grants at the 18th annual La Fiesta de Colores. According to santero and Fiesta Director Jerry Montoya, “The original idea for the Fiesta was to educate the young people about the culture of the Hispanics. We want to keep the traditions alive to show the young people the culture of the dance, the song, and the artwork—it’s all part of their culture.” Enjoy the art show, procession, car show, food, music, and dancing. 400 E. High Ave.; (800) 748-2142; 

May 4–5

Five Alive

On May 5, 1862, a band of underdog Mexican soldiers defeated a much larger and better-equipped French army at the Battle of Puebla; ever since, Cinco de Mayo has been a day to remember. In the U.S., the holiday is commemorated with much more enthusiasm than in Mexico itself: It’s a day to celebrate Mexican heritage north of the border. Mesilla’s annual, family-friendly weekend celebration draws thousands of folks from Mesilla, Las Cruces, and beyond, who enjoy the mariachi, flamenco dancing, ballet folklórico, arts and crafts vendors, and Mexican food and drinks. (575) 524-3262;

May 4–5

Our Kind of Ballet

The Albuquerque-based Ballet Repertory Theatre of New Mexico (BRT) will present Pasión!, a contemporary ballet program with Spanish influences, at the historic KiMo Theater. “This annual, mixed-repertoire, contemporary production is an opportunity for BRT to share with our audiences how dance is art in its most human form, while featuring the diversity of our company and local choreographers,” says Katherine Giese, BRT’s Executive/Creative Director. The featured event will be a one-act ballet of the classic story of Carmen, choreographed by Alex Ossadnik. $17–$27. (505) 768-3522;

May 11–27

Purple Flowers’ Majesty

Visit the Taos Lilac Festival to feast your eyes on gorgeous blooms and have fun with the whole family. “The end of May is a great time to visit Taos,” says festival co-founder John Hamilton. “The lilacs are in full bloom—fragrant and beautiful. It’s a chance to beat the Memorial Day crowds and enjoy late spring in the mountains.” After securing a festival map online, explore the self-driven tour routes, and visit many of the restaurants and merchants who will be offering related specials. During the Grand Festival Weekend (May 17–19), Taos is alive with parades, an arts and crafts fair in the Plaza, and a truck show. The Taos Lions Club will offer free rides to children on their restored antique carousel.

May 17–September 8

The O’Keeffe Different

While Georgia O’Keeffe is well known for her landscape paintings, her engagement with New Mexico’s Native and Hispanic cultures has not garnered as much attention. A new exhibit at her namesake museum in Santa Fe, Georgia O’Keeffe in New Mexico: Architecture, Katsinam, and the Land, showcases her encounters with Native and Hispanic religious culture, including representations of Katsinam (spirit beings, often called kachinas), churches, and santos. (505) 946-1000;

May 26

Texas: You Gotta Lovett

Providing a steady flow of superb regional music is one way the Republic of Texas pays back its many debts to the great state of New Mexico. On this spring eve, two of Texas’s most popular troubadours, Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen, will share the stage at The Santa Fe Opera to swap songs more or less as they did a few decades ago, as undergraduates at Texas A&M—only with a lot more hits to their names. Tickets range from $27 to $89 at the Opera box office and online at (505) 986-5900

May 24–26

Southern Blues

Some of the country’s hottest blues acts will convene in Silver City for the 18th annual edition of the highly acclaimed Silver City Blues Festival, a weekend of music performed by nine acts from all over the country, including headliners Tommy Castro (at right) and the Painkillers; MacArthur “genius” grant winner Corey Harris and the Rasta Blues Experience; and Maria Muldaur, of New Orleans. Don’t miss the Kick-Off Dance Friday night, at the Buffalo Dance Hall in historic downtown Silver City. Gough Park. (575) 538-2505;

May 25–26

Treasure Trove

Some of the nation’s finest Native American artists will assemble in Santa Fe at the ninth annual Native Treasures: Indian Arts Festival, a museum-quality invitational art show and sale featuring over 200 classic and contemporary Native artists from more than 40 tribes and Pueblos. Proceeds from the show provide funding for Santa Fe’s Museum of Indian Arts & Culture (MIAC). Santa Fe Convention Center. (505) 476-1250;

This year’s MIAC Living Treasure honoree is Santa Clara potter and sculptor Tammy Garcia (at left), who will be celebrated at a benefit cocktail party at the Santa Fe Convention Center Friday, May 24, at 5:30 p.m. ($100; “Garcia is truly a gifted artist whose work incorporates traditional designs and modern iconography. Her forays into other media, such as bronze and glass, have been groundbreaking, while her pottery is always exceptional,” says Native Treasures Artist Chairman Jane Buchsbaum.

Garcia’s work is also the subject of an exhibition, Neo Traditional: 15 Years in Bronze by Tammy Garcia, at Blue Rain Gallery in May, with an artist’s reception May 3 from 5 to 7 p.m. (505) 954-9902;