Centennial Summerfest to Celebrate New Mexico’s 100th Birthday

Albuquerque’s birthday bash for New Mexico will provide entertainment, food and fun on June 16th

To celebrate New Mexico's 100 years of statehood, Albuquerque will host the state's largest birthday party. The Centennial Summerfest on June 16th will provide diverse and exciting entertainment. Historically themed pavilions, free concerts, delicious food, a car show and more are sure to provide a true Albuquerque and New Mexico experience. Grammy(R) Award-winning band Los Lobos wrap up the festive day as the headliner performance. (PRNewsFoto/Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau)

To celebrate New Mexico’s 100 years of statehood, Albuquerque will host the state’s largest birthday party.  The Centennial Summerfest on June 16, 2012 will provide diverse and exciting entertainment. Historically themed pavilions, free concerts, delicious food, a car show and more are sure to provide a true Albuquerque and New Mexico experience.

“This is the largest event in New Mexico to commemorate our state’s one hundred years of statehood. Centennial Summerfest is a chance for visitors to—in one day—experience the rich cultural history of New Mexico,” said Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry.

Stroll through themed pavilions to sample the flavors of Albuquerque and New Mexico’s history:

  • The Hispanic Heritage Pavilion features flamenco, mariachis and authentic New Mexico music from artists including Albuquerque’s own Al Hurricane and Gonzalo.
  • The Native American Pavilion will be adjacent to Albuquerque’s iconic KiMo Theatre featuring traditional and modern Native American music, food and crafts.
  • The World Beat Pavilion will showcase global music and dance from local groups. Enjoy Taiko drumming and music from groups like Son Como Son and Wagogo.
  • The Rock and Rockabilly Pavilion and Car Show will pay a tribute to the “Mother Road” by revisiting a time of Rock ‘n Roll, poodle skirts and classic cars. Listen to live music by groups like The Fireballs, New Mexico’s first hit-making Rock ‘n Roll band.
  • At the Territorial Village visitors will get a glimpse of New Mexico’s frontier days. Sample authentic food at the old time chuck wagons while being entertained by country artists like Roy “Dusty” Rogers, Jr. and Will Banister.

A Kid’s Fun Zone will provide free entertainment for the whole family. An arts and craft market featuring artists from across New Mexico, and a live musical depicting the history of New Mexico will be shown in the KiMo Theatre at 7 p.m.

The event’s highlight will be a free concert by Grammy® Award-winning performers, Los Lobos on the Main Stage at 8:00 p.m.

For a complete list of events and performers, visit abqsummerfest.com.

The mission of the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau is to stimulate economic growth by marketing Albuquerque as a visitor and convention destination. For information, visit www.ItsATrip.org , www.facebook.com/visitAlbuquerque or www.twitter.com/see_albuquerque .

Albuquerque considered best location for viewing solar eclipse May 20th

Albuquerque, New Mexico will be the best place to see the Annular Eclipse on Sunday, May 20, 2012. Educational and viewing events are being held at locations throughout the city to spot the first Annular Eclipse over the U.S. in 18 years. Visit www.ItsATrip.org/ABQSolarEvents for details. (PRNewsFoto/Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau)


Events to draw astronomy buffs and sky enthusiasts to Albuquerque

On May 20th, the first annular eclipse in 18 years will be visible from the United States. Albuquerque, New Mexico is said to be the best urban location to view this “ultimate astronomical event.” An annular eclipse occurs when the moon covers most of the sun’s disk leaving a thin ring of light around the edge appearing as a “ring of fire.”

The eclipse begins over Asia and, traveling at more than 1,000 MPH, the shadow of the eclipse races to the southeast over parts of California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and New Mexico before sunset. Locally, viewers will be able to see the annular eclipse for about four minutes just before sunset at 7:33pm in Albuquerque on the western horizon. A partial eclipse will be visible from approximately 6:30-8:00pm Mountain Daylight Time.

The Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau and partner organizations are inviting astronomy buffs and interested star and sky enthusiasts to visit Albuquerque for this rare viewing event.

Seven entities have established viewing and educational events during the week before and on May 20th led by astronomers, graduate students and museum educators.

  • Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum (viewing and education)
  • New Mexico Museum of Nuclear Science & History (viewing and education)
  • University of New Mexico Observatory (viewing and education)
  • New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science (educational events only)
  • Hard Rock Pavilion at Mesa del Sol (viewing only)
  • Sandia Peak Tramway (viewing only)


Each of the viewing locations above offers a direct site of the horizon for optimal viewing of the eclipse. Petroglyph National Monument is offering a viewing event that has been so popular it is already sold out.

Safety will be of utmost importance while viewing the eclipse. People should NOT look directly at the sun as it could cause eye damage. Solar viewing glasses or special pinhole cameras are needed to view the annular eclipse. Glasses will be available at the above event locations and Albuquerque Visitors Information Centers.

Details on viewing and educational events are available at www.ItsATrip.org/ABQSolarEvents.

25th Anniversary of Festival Flamenco Internacional de Alburquerque to Take Place June 8-16, 2012

Albuquerque recognized as center for flamenco in U.S.

The National Institute of Flamenco in Albuquerque, New Mexico, proudly announces the 25th anniversary celebration of Festival Flamenco Internacional de Alburquerque, June 8-16, 2012. Featuring nine days of performances by Spain’s greatest living artists, Festival Flamenco is an exciting opportunity for newcomers to discover the art form, and for aficionados to indulge in a flamenco immersion experience.

For 25 years, the romantic lure of flamenco draws artists and visitors from across the globe to Albuquerque, which is known as the center for flamenco in the United States. “I’ve realized this is one of the most important festivals in the world because of their tradition, their respect, and the love they have toward flamenco,” said Jose Maya, a past festival artist.

The spectacular Festival Flamenco exposes arts patrons and students to over 50 of the most highly revered flamenco artists in the world. These talented artists have performed on stages in Sevilla, Paris, New York and Tokyo. Past festival artists include: Antonio Canales, members of the Amaya family dynasty and the Farruco family.

During the festival, the public is invited to impressive evening performances each night.  In addition, the master artists teach more than 30 workshops covering a range of flamenco practicum-related topics for novice, professional and everyone in between. For those new to flamenco, a beginner’s workshop includes basic components of the art form; and for the more serious student, a variety of advanced and special topics courses are available for enrollment.

Festival Flamenco is internationally recognized as the most comprehensive aesthetic and educational platform, for its presentation of cutting edge performers, academic research symposia and youth programming.

The festival is part of Savor Albuquerque, a celebration of arts, culture and cuisine. New Mexico is comprised of a blend of cultural influences with rich history and Spanish ancestry. Culture and heritage events and attractions are among the most popular reasons to visit Albuquerque, which was recently recognized as one of “15 Destinations on the Rise” by www.TripAdvisor.com and is one of Hotwire.com’s 2012 best value cities.

For information about the 25th anniversary of the Festival Flamenco, visit www.ffi25.org.

Adela Campallo performs during the annual Festival Flamenco Internacional de Alburquerque, which celebrates 25 years June 8-16, 2012. Novice and expert performers come together for flamenco workshops, courses and performances in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The festival is part of Savor Albuquerque: Arts, Culture and Cuisine. Learn more at www.ffi25.org. (PRNewsFoto/Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau)


Dance, Eat, Learn, Celebrate and Be Inspired at the 1st Annual New Mexico Black History Month Festival

NM Black History Month

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Jan. 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The New Mexico Black History Month 2012 Organizing Committee has prepared a month of creative, educational, and engaging programming for the entire month of February. The New Mexico Black History Month 2012 Festival begins Friday, February 3 and continues until Sunday, February 26, 2012. A full calendar of events is available on the New Mexico Black History Month 2012 website, www.nmblackhistorymonth.com.

Sponsored by the City of Albuquerque, the Office of African American Affairs and Bernalillo County each event in February focuses on one of five major areas: culture, cuisine, health, positive youth development and education. The Black History Month 2012 Festival events include: “Roots Revival,” an original cabaret performance by A-list Albuquerque artists, a Cotton Club Gala sponsored by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated Albuquerque Alumnae Chapter and the New Mexico Divine Nine Council featuring Bernard Purdie and Friends; an open discussion with Vertamae Grosvenor, author of Vibration Cooking, and “Masters of Motown” featuring artists performing top hits from Motown.

Cathryn McGill, founder/director of The Black History Month 2012 Organizing Committee says of the planning efforts, “The 2012 Black History Month Festival is an opportunity to build and strengthen community from the inside out. Organizations within the African American community are historically coming together to produce a slate of activities that will be universally appealing.” Co-Chairs of the event are Gene Grant and Cecilia Webb.

The New Mexico Black History Month festival encourages New Mexicans to learn about the contributions that African-Americans have made to the state and to the nation throughout the years.  More information about dates and times of the Black History Month Festival events are located on the New Mexico Black History Month website, www.nmblackhistorymonth.com.

The mission of the New Mexico Black History Month Organizing Committee is to preserve the rich cultural heritage that African Americans have made to the state of New Mexico and the United States. The Black History Month Organizing Committee is a collaboration among organizations in Albuquerque who serve the African-American community.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Sets New World Record

Inaugural Day of 40th Balloon Fiesta Sets new Mark of 345 Hot Air Balloons


Hot Air Balloons, Albuquerque, Ektachrome by Scott Williams

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta again set the world record for most balloons launched in one hour, sending 345 hot air balloons into the sky from Balloon Fiesta Park during the opening day of Balloon Fiesta.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Inc. is seeking the world record for the greatest mass hot air balloon ascent in one hour from Guinness World Records.™

“There’s no better way to celebrate the 40th Balloon Fiesta than breaking a world record on our opening day,” said John Sena, President of the Board for the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta. “It was a beautiful day and a signature moment for the world’s premier balloon event.”

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is no stranger to world records, in 2000 Balloon Fiesta set the same record by launching 329 balloons in one hour.

The 12th Lorraine World Air Balloon Festival in Chambley-Bussieres, France launched 343 hot air balloons in one hour, earlier in 2011.

About the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is an annual festival of hot air balloons that takes place every October in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. It is the largest gathering of balloons and balloonist in the world. For details on events, schedule, entertainment and photographs visit www.balloonfiesta.com. Balloon Fiesta can be found on Twitter @BalloonFiesta and Facebook.

World’s Largest Ballooning Event Takes to Skies October 1-9, 2011

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta
Photo courtesy: Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Inc.


The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta celebrates its 40th event with 550 hot air balloons representing 20 countries and honoring the person who started it all in 1972 Sid Cutter, the founder and “Father of Fiesta”.

The 40th event will occur October 1-9, 2011 at Balloon Fiesta Park.  New this year will be the Sandia Resort and Casino $100,000 challenge, the richest active prize in ballooning.  It will test pilots’ skill and provide great visuals as competitors play an airborne version of ring toss, trying to connect with one of ten poles during the competitive flying events.

The mass ascensions will fill Albuquerque’s morning skies with 550 hot air balloons on October 1, 2, 8 and 9.  The 16th America’s Challenge Gas Balloon event, a cross country competition, and the popular Balloon Glows (featuring 200+ hot air balloons in static display flickering their burners at sunset and into dusk) will round out the first weekend’s evening events.

Opening day at Balloon Fiesta Park will also feature both a balloon version and airplane version of the “Missing Man Formation” balloon launch to honor the so-called “Father of Fiesta” Sid Cutter who passed away earlier this year.

The competitive flying starts on Monday of Balloon Fiesta week with pilots aiming to win the richest active prize in hot air ballooning in the Sandia Resort and Casino $100,000 Challenge.  Competitive flying will continue throughout the week, taking a break on Wednesday for the Flight of the Nation’s.  The Flight of the Nations will honor the 20 countries participating in the 40th event, as each flies their nation’s flags from Balloon Fiesta Park.

Flying pigs, a giant butterfly and other unique objects are among the 99 special shape balloons that will take to the skies for their own mass ascension and balloon glows on Thursday and Friday at Balloon Fiesta Park.  Additional Mass Ascensions and a Balloon Glow will be included in the final weekend.

The 2011 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta sponsors include Nikon, the official camera for this year’s event.

For details on events, schedule, entertainment and photographs visit our website www.balloonfiesta.com and follow us in on Twitter @BalloonFiesta and Facebook.