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Mexican folk dancers perform on parade floats on central for the New Mexico State Fair on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022.

OPINION: September festivities not to miss


September is upon us and that means it’s the start of the fall festival season. School is now in session and temperatures this summer were exceptionally high. September marks a turning of the seasons and a reprieve of the summer heat – the perfect time for friends and family to celebrate all the things New Mexico has to offer.

Here is a list of a few local festivals and fairs happening throughout the month that are sure to be fun, immersive and educational.

New Mexico State Fair: Sept. 7 - 17

The New Mexico State Fair has always been a favorite of mine to attend since I was a kid. I can already smell the roasted green chili, funnel cakes, turkey legs and hear the screams from the fair rides. There is always something for everyone.

New to this year’s fair at the Expo NM includes a live shark and stingray encounter, according to the Fairs website. Other special entertainment includes a strolling piano, duck races, the Salsa Steel Drum Band, the petting farm and so much more.

Numerous competitions this year include the beef jerky showdown, the car show, livestock show, agriculture competition and the green chili cheeseburger challenge.

Nebraskan rock band, 311, will be performing on Saturday, Sept. 16 with the PRCA Rodeo. Other live music performers include Mammoth WVH, Justin Moore, Chancey Williams, The Country Comeback Tour featuring Shenandoah, Billy Dean and Wade Hydes, as well as Mariachi Sol de Mexico de Jose Hernandez and Mariachi Reyna de Los Ángeles.

The State Fair Parade will happen on Saturday, Sept. 9. The parade is free and will begin the march down Central Ave. into Nob Hill at 8:30 a.m.

Ticket prices for the NM State Fair vary, but a regular adult ticket is $15.

15th Annual Santa Fe Renaissance Faire: Sept. 16 - 17

This year’s annual Renaissance Faire will be held in Santa Fe at Rancho de Las Golondrinas from 10:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m on Saturday and Sunday. Although I have not attended a renaissance faire before, I believe now is the perfect time to explore and dress as a wench or witch and have some medieval fun.

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Prepping for the Renaissance Faire is perhaps just as fun as the event itself. There is still plenty of time to go to local thrift stores and shop for the perfect medieval, viking or pirate outfit. The creativity and craftyness in dressing up is unlimited.

The immersive experience will include feasting in the Kingdom of Golondrinas with knights and fairies, as well as a variety of fun activities and entertainment. There will be dancing to live medieval music, an arts and crafts fair, comedic performances, pilla-

ging with pirates and, best of all, a jousting tournament.

General admission tickets are $18 for adults; students with a valid ID pay $15.

Aki Matsuri, Japanese Fall Festival: Sept. 24

The Aki Matsuri (Fall Festival) will be held at Expo NM from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The New Mexico Japanese-American Citizens League has been hosting this festival for over 20 years. The festival is a fun way to engage and learn more about Japanese culture and heritage.

The festival began in a small parking lot of a Japanese restaurant. Over the years, the venues for the festival changed as the number of attendees grew. This is the first year that the New Mexico Japanese-American Citizens League has hosted Aki Matsuri at Expo NM.

As a military brat, I had the amazing opportunity to live in Japan as a child. Nothing excites me more than immersing myself back into my childhood experience and indulging in Japanese culture. There will be Japanese cultural exhibits, art, food, sushi, beer, sake and a cosplay competition. The event will also include martial arts, arts and crafts, and a showcasing of traditional Japanese dance, song and live musical performances.

General admission tickets are $10 or $7.50 for presale.

Corrales Harvest Festival: Sept. 30 - Oct. 1

The annual harvest festival will take place in the village of Corrales from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. This two-day festival has been held annually

since 1985.

Being at the end of the month and the first of October, this festival is the true mark of the turning of seasons. The festival celebrates the time for farmers to harvest their crops and share with the community. Locally grown food and tractor driven hayrides are sure to bring on the fall and small town vibes.

The Corrales harvest festival is the perfect segue into the spooky season. Cooler temperatures, New Mexican food, live music, local arts and crafts, pet parade and a pet mayor contest sound like a perfect way to wrap up September.

The growers’ market is a chance to grab healthy locally grown food. It will be on Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Along with a wide variety of food options, the harvest festival will have a beer garden hosted by the Kaktus Brewing company.

General admission tickets are $15.

Sydney Walker is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be reached at, or on Twitter @squidneywrites

Sydney Walker

Sydney Walker is a freelance reporter at the Daily Lobo. She can be reached on Twitter @squidneywrites. 

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