We are continuing to enjoy September in Santa Fe! This post includes the following: Santa Fe Fiesta, Botanical Gardens, Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, and Fiestas de Santa Fe procession and parade. We now only have 1 more week in Santa Fe before we are Albuquerque Air Balloon Festival (and vacation!)-bound! It has gone fast and there’s still so much to see in this area and around New Mexico! Fall seems to be settling in here – there’s been a bit more rain and cooler temps, especially in the evening – you can still cook in the sun during the day though! Enjoy!
Fri, Sept 11
Santa Fe Fiesta continues on the plaza – we were treated to some traditional dances on our way to dinner – Viva La Fiesta!
The dance below is one popular at weddings where first the dancers dance in a circle around the stage to signify life, then couples separate to signify their first quarrel, then they come back together for the ‘make-up’, then in rows of 4 or more to signify family, then they organize into a single ribbon to represent the twist and turns of life, then they join hands above their heads to represent bridges that must be built throughout life, then the newly married couple dances in the center. Whew!
Sat, Sept 12
After enjoying lunch and a Grand Marnier margarita at Maria’s, popular with locals, and known for their extensive margarita list (more than 100), we ventured over to Museum Hill to check out the Botanical Gardens and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture.
Botanical Gardens: not that impressed, very small, nothing like UC Berkley, St Louis, or the Chicago burbs. It should be free to anyone with a ticket from the other museums on Museum Hill.
Museum of Indian Arts and Culture – really enjoyed our visit here. Smallish but jammed packed with goodies. Unfortunately you couldn’t take pics inside, outside only. Highlights included:
- Here, Now, and Always – very extensive exhibit on Southwest Indians, from a few hundred years AD to present day including pottery, clothing, culture, and other artifacts.
- Turquoise exhibit – Turquoise, Water, Sky: The Stone and Its Meaning
- David Bradley exhibit: whimsical, colorful, and entertaining pop-esque paintings highlighting local Santa Fe culture including: El Farol with celebrity guests Georgia O’Keefe, the Clintons (with Monica Lewinsky’s manicured hand reaching up from under the table!), Santa Fe Indian Market, and Zozobra. There’s no shortage of content to cover in Santa Fe art!
- Buchsbaum Gallery of Southwestern Pottery: beautiful works, all organized by pueblo in New Mexico and Arizona (at least 20.) It’s kind of cool to be able to start identifying the tribe/pueblo pieces belong to as some can share similar characteristics. We were both particularly drawn to one piece by Tammy Garcia – gorgeous! Upon further research, she created one of the modern sculptures in the Botanical Gardens!
Sun, Sept 13
Today we experienced two major Santa Fe Fiesta events – Viva La Fiesta! More about the fiesta, as promised in the last post:
Fiestas de Santa Fe has been held annually since 1712 to celebrate the reconquest of the city in 1692 by Spanish colonists led by General de Vargas. It is the oldest civic celebration of its kind in North America. The Spanish were earlier expelled from the city by neighboring pueblo people during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 and spent the next 12 years in exile in what is now Juarez, Mexico. Eight years after de Vargas’ death, a proclamation was signed to establish an annual commemoration of the resettlement.
The fiesta includes: solemn processions, 9 masses, a reenactment of de Vargas’s return to the city, various parades, a ball, arts and crafts booths on the plaza, and a variety of mariachi performances.
Solemn Procession – this is where the La Conquistadora is returned from Rosario Chapel to the Cathedral Basilica:
Desfile de la Gente Historical/Hysterical Parade – this is a great name for the parade as it was indeed historical, and at times hysterical too. They had everything from conquistadors to beauty queens to floats featuring live haircuts and local bail bondsmen! The volume was incredible as well – more than 80 floats/entries! Candy galore was given out to the kids along the parade route – after a while I kind of wanted some myself! Dave and I really enjoyed all the horses in the parade – something we both are not used to seeing in our hometown July 4 parades.