5 Standout Festivals in New Mexico

Vibrant, diverse communities give New Mexico lifestyle appeal.

Jessica Walker Boehm
On Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - 11:23

They know how to celebrate in New Mexico, whether it’s music, culture or cuisine. Here is just a small sample of the signature festivals that take place throughout the state:

Photo by Marble Street Studio/City of Albuquerque

1. International Folk Art Market

Every July in Santa Fe, the International Folk Art Market sells artworks made by more than 150 artisans representing 60 countries. About 20,000 visitors attend and purchase more than $3 million in folk art, and another highlight is an International Food Bazaar with booths ranging from Cambodian to Indian to Mediterranean cuisine.

2. Pie Festival USA in Pie Town

Celebrating its 39th anniversary in September 2019 is Pie Festival USA, which occurs in Pie Town southwest of Albuquerque. More than 1,000 pies are sold in one day, with visitors arriving from throughout west-central New Mexico. A morning 5K run features participants running downhill half the race, then uphill the other half.

Photo Courtesy of iStock/Pollyana Ventura

3. Mardi Gras in the Mountains

Red River hosts a Mardi Gras in the Mountains festival every early March, with six days packed with costume balls, Cajun-food cookoffs, crawfish boils, a ceremonial burning of a loup-garou (werewolf) and a downhill gator race. A Mardi Gras parade culminates the week with bead tossing, singing and dancing.

4. Taos Winter Wine Festival

For four days in early February, the Taos Winter Wine Festival offers tasting sessions of more than 150 wines from 35 participating wineries. The long weekend also features delicious food from 24 of the area’s best restaurants, and a silent auction sells rare pinot noirs and chardonnays.

Photo by Marble Street Studio/City of Albuquerque

5. Hatch Chile Festival

The village of Hatch heats up every Labor Day weekend with its two-day Hatch Chile Festival that attracts about 30,000 visitors. Celebration of the village’s famous crop has been documented by The Food Network and the BBC, and events include chile-eating contests, artisan booths, a carnival and live music.


Jessica Walker Boehm is a journalism graduate of Belmont University and has been a regular contributor to Livability.com since 2010.