Thursday, August 18, 2011

It’s Full-Tilt Fiesta Season!

By S. Derrickson Moore
LAS CRUCES— This year, we really need FTFS (Full-Tilt Fiesta Season).
Maybe it was the weird global weather and disasters (including unprecedented calamities like Japan’s tsunami-nuclear plant double whammy) that struck before spring even had a chance to get started. Nature’s handiwork was further aggravated by a summer of manmade (or more accurately, politician-made and triggered) political and economic shenanigans, plus riots and global governmental overthrow attempts and continuing conflicts that had most of us on edge for much of the summer.
By the time we got around to contemplating vacation and a silly summery pursuit or two, our absurdly early school year had begun … and after this summer, we wonder if we should spend the money, anyway, with worldwide famines and needy friends and relatives out of work or marginally employed.
Whatever the origins of our summer of discontent, stress and misery, it’s clear that we have been deprived of our traditional silly season this year.
We may have to abandon all hopes of escapist pursuits for Summer 2011, and move on.
Luckily, the good news is that we live in southern New Mexico, Full-tilt Fiesta Season and chile capital of the world … maybe the universe.
And the even better news is that FTFS is bigger from the get-go in 2011. It starts this week, and there will be more chile-enhanced activities than ever before to help rev up our endorphin systems, cheer us up and strengthen our will to live, dance and party hearty. We can nurture our inner fiesta animals knowing that the festivities are a boon to our economy, our relationships, and a variety of regional causes and community organizations.
Appropriately, our official 2012 New Mexico statehood centennial celebrations kick off, not in the ancient City Different (Santa Fe) nor the Duke City (Albuquerque) but where a major 100-year state fiesta should rightfully begin, at FTFS ground zero, the city of festive moods and fiesta attitudes: Las Cruces! And in our neighboring communities, too.
You’ll have to do some careful party planning to get everything in, with the Centennial’s kickoff, the Main Street Centennial SalsaFest, the White Sands International Film Festival and Deming Duck races all starting with events this next week and running through Aug. 28.
And there will be no let-up, with more big bashes over the three-day Labor Day weekend, featuring must-go fiesta choices that include the 40th Hatch Chile Festival, New Mexico Wine Harvest Wine Festival, Franciscan Festival of Fine Arts and a super-festive Downtown Ramble.
Even the always-festive Las Cruces Convention Center seems to have been jolted into a new level of FTFS hyperbolic overdrive, billing our next big fiesta periods as “Superweekend” and “Super Labor Day Weekend.”
Get in training this weekend. Stock up on therapeutic doses of chile, practice your salsa moves, and get in touch with your amigos near and far to plan some rendezvous. Prepare to celebrate surviving a tough summer with your best FTFS ever!

S. Derrickson Moore can be reached at (575) 541-5450

(breakout on jump)
Full-Tilt Fiesta Season Highlights
For more events information, visit
Aug. 25-28: White Sands Film Fest
Aug. 25-28: Great American Duck Race
Aug. 28: Centennial ¡SalsaFest!
Sept. 3 & 4: 40th Hatch Chile Festival
Sept. 3 to 5: New Mexico Wine Harvest Wine Festival
Sept. 3 & 4: Franciscan Festival of Fine Arts
Sept. 5: Labor Day Wine Fest, Franciscan Fest
Sept. 9 to 11: Color Las Cruces: Plein Air Art Competition & Community Arts Fest Sept. 9 to 11
Sept. 10 & 11: Fort Selden Frontier Days
Sept. 11: 5,000 Flowers and other commemorations
Sept. 16 to 18: White Sands Hot Air Balloon Invitational
Sept. 17 & 18: Mesilla’s Diez y Seis de Septiembre
Sept. 23 to 25: The Whole Enchilada Fiesta
Sept. 27 to Oct. 2: SNM State Fair
Oct. 1 & 2: Mesilla Jazz Happening
Oct. 8: New Mexico Pumpkin Fest, Mesilla Valley Maze
Oct. 8 & 9: La Viña Harvest Fest
Oct. 27-29 NMSU Homecomng
Oct. 28 to 31, Nov. 2: Dia de Los Muertos in Mesilla, plus parade float, processions, art shows September through November.
Oct. 31: Halloween
Nov. 5 & 6: Renaissance ArtsFaire
Nov. 11: Mesilla Veteran’s Day Ceremony
Nov. 12: City of Las Cruces Veterans Day Parade
Nov. 11 to 13: Las Cruces International Mariachi Conference, workshops, Student Showcase Spectacular Concert, Mariachi Mass
Nov. 12: El Tratado de La Mesilla Reenactment of 1854 of Gadsden Purchase ratification
Nov. 20: Toys for Kids Motorcycle Parade
Nov. 26 & 27: St. Genevieve Holiday Antique & Craft Show
Dec. 2 to 4: La Casa Holiday Bazaar
Dec. 2 to 18: LCCB Nutcracker
Dec: 2: 8th Annual Trail of Lights Fiesta, City Xmas Tree Lighting
Dec. 9: Mesilla Xmas Tree Lighting
Dec. 10: Fort Selden Luminaria Tour
Dec. 10 to 12: Our Lady of Guadalupe Fiesta at Tortugas & St. Gen, Tortugas “A” Mountain Pilgrimage
Dec. 24: Mesilla Plaza Christmas Eve, Luminarias

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