New Mexico Centennial Summerfest 2012: June 16

New Mexico Centennial Summerfest in Albuquerque promises to be one mega birthday party to celebrate New Mexico’s Statehood Centennial, and best of all – it’s free! If you’re an ABQ local and you haven’t heard about Summerfest already, you must have been living under a rock. But hey, who am I to judge how you spend your time? So here’s the scoop.

The New Mexico Summerfest Centennial event is on Saturday June 16, 2012 along Albuquerque’s Central Avenue, old Route 66 herself, with oodles of free live entertainment, exhibits, a car show, activities for kids, an arts and crafts show, and more. The party kicks off at 12 noon, and culminates with a free concert of star acts: country singer Will Banister, and the Grammy award-winners Robert Mirabal and Los Lobos.

To give you just a taste of the Summerfest schedule, highlights include:

  • Youthfest including games, face painting, music and dance, a climbing wall, and BMX bike demonstration, at the Youthfest area on Central between 4th and 5th streets.
  • Hispanic Heritage Pavilion (3rd and Central) with entertainment including Matachines de Bernalillo, flamenco dancing, and music by Al Hurricane and Al Hurricane, Jr.
  • World Pavilion (4th and Central) entertainment is as diverse as it sounds, from Taiko drumming to Irish dancing, Opera Southwest, and Le Chat Lunatique.
  • Native American stage (5th and Central) with Gathering of Nations Inter Tribal Dancers at various times during the afternoon, and a performance at 5 pm by Shelley Morningsong, whose album Full Circle won the Native American Music Awards 2011 Record of the Year.
  • NM Office of African American Affairs Juneteenth stage (7th and Central) is the venue for music by Sweet Life, Cathryn McGill, and an excerpt from Roots Revival by Rainbow Studio Theater.
  • Rock and Rockabilly stage (6th and Central) hosts the Daddy O’s, The Fireballs, and Soul Kitchen with Hillary Smith and Chris Dracup.
  • KiMo Theatre free cartoon movies all day and a free musical about New Mexico at 7 pm by the SouthWest Rural Theatre Project.
  • Storytelling Tent (8th and Central) including cowboy poets and chautauquas on New Mexico history and Billy the Kid.
  • Territorial Village in Robinson Park (between 8th and 10th on Central) with Roy Rogers Jr, Syd Masters, New Mexico Territorial Brass Band, and gunfighters!
  • Vintage Car Show on Central between 6th and 7th.
  • Science and Technology Center (7th and 8th on Central) with exhibits from Explora, Sandia National Labs, Spaceport America, White Sands National Monument, the National Museum of Nuclear History & Science, the Fractal Foundation, and more.
  • 100 for 100 Arts and Crafts show by New Mexico artists on Central between 6th and 7th.
  • Free trolley rides courtesy of ABQ Trolley Co along Central Avenue from noon to 6 pm as a shuttle to save your aching feet!
  • Free evening concerts at the Downtown Harry E. Kinney Civic Plaza Centennial Main Stage with country music artist Will Banister at 5:30 pm, Taos Pueblo musician Robert Mirabal at 6:30 pm, and headline act Los Lobos from 8 – 9:30 pm.

This is but a sampling of the free fun on offer – here’s the full New Mexico Centennial Summerfest schedule with all the details and a map.

The City of Albuquerque is expecting up to 80,000 people to attend Summerfest… plus you. So unless you can walk from home to the venues, you’d be wise to check out the Summerfest transportation, parking, and park and ride options at the link.

Party on, New Mexico!

–Tania


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