Albuquerque is a year-round destination, and it has a healthy calendar of year-round events to please art lovers, foodies, music fans, and culture buffs. With the city’s lively mix of cultures, there is always a party going on somewhere. Your problem won’t be finding an event to go to; it will be choosing which of the many on offer to plump for. Many people plan their visits around special events such as the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta—one of the most photographed events in the world, with around 700 balloons and some 800,000 balloonatic spectators. The Native American Gathering of Nations is another big draw, as representatives from 500 tribes across the continent meet for their annual reunion and powwow, and many of the nearby pueblo resorts and casinos also host special events at this time. The New Mexico State Fair is the hub of the state for 17 days in September, and visitors might reasonably wonder if there is anybody left in any other part of New Mexico. If you plan to travel to Albuquerque during any of these three events, it’s wise to book accommodations well in advance.
We’re highlighting some of the top annual events, festivals, and celebrations that give the city so much of its vibrancy. It’s worth noting that in laid-back Albuquerque, the complete festival or event program is sometimes not finalized till close to the date. If an event is listed here, though, you can be sure that it has earned a good reputation over time, and you’re unlikely to be disappointed. Dates, venues, and prices given are accurate at the time of writing, but of course, changes may occur, so check with the organizers.