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Albuquerque's 10 Best Events and Festivals in August

Albuquerque's 10 Best Events and Festivals in August

Picture of Jessica Dawdy
Updated: 9 February 2017
Albuquerque may be known as the gateway to the American Southwest, yet this historic city, tucked between the Sandia Mountain and the Rio Grande, has more than a few charms of its own. From art exhibitions that draw inspiration from New Mexico’s vibrant culture and scenery, to festivals that celebrate its Spanish roots, here’s what to do and see in Albuquerque this August.

Art l Red Hot Summer

1 – 28 August

Red Hot Summer is a group show presented by Gallery ABQ, an artist-owned gallery that features creative works in a wide variety of mediums and styles. This event highlights the work of three of the city’s talented local artists: Nina Adkins, Anita Daniels, and Judi Foster. The collection includes Daniels’ intriguing pieces made from kiln-formed glass; Adkins’ vivid paintings, which mix papers, grounds, and paints; as well as Foster’s bright watercolours, which capture the sparkling energy of the American Southwest.

Red Hot Summer, The Gallery ABQ, 8210 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM, United States, +1 505 292 9333

Red Hot Summer is
© Nina Adkins, The Holy Ones | Courtesy The Gallery ABQ

Music l Summer Nights Concerts at the Botanic Garden

7 – 28 August

With outdoor performances and seating on an open lawn, Summer Nights Concerts presents local and regional musicians in a perfect summer setting. The music genres range from ska to southwestern Americana, and there are also side performers, such as hula hoop artists and magicians. Highlights of this year’s line-up include gypsy swing jazz group Caravan of Thieves and country artist Kim Richey. Set in the city’s BioPark Botanic Garden, there are plenty of food and drink vendors on-site, or visitors can bring their own food and spread out a picnic blanket.

Summer Nights Concerts at the Botanic Garden, BioPark Botanic Garden, 2601 Central Ave NW, Albuquerque, NM, United States, +1 505 764 6200

Art and Culture l Great Southwestern Antiques Show

9 – 10 August

Celebrating its 16th year, the Great Southwestern Antiques Show is one of the top antique events in the country, attracting both novice enthusiasts and seasoned buyers. The show features more than 200 art and antique vendors, with a particularly strong representation of early American arts and crafts, as well as Ethnographic, Native American and Western art. Visitors can expect to find everything from estate jewelry and rare books, to pawn collectibles and old guitars. Admission fees are donated towards local non-profit organizations that promote arts and education in New Mexico. A sneak preview of the main event, which takes place the night before the official start day, includes live music and food.

Great Southwestern Antiques Show, 300 San Pedro NE, Albuquerque, NM, United States, +1 505 255 4054

Art l 24 Hours of Art

15 – 16 August

24 Hours of Art is an opportunity for local artists to showcase their work in creative mediums ranging from dance and music, to photography and crafts. This 24-hour event is held at different venues across Albuquerque, where visitors are invited to browse the art on display, create their own art, or simply enjoy the food, drinks, and festive atmosphere. It’s an opportunity for art enthusiasts to speak with local artists, as well as participate in art-related games, demonstrations, and a special auction. All the participants come together on the last day of the event for a final celebration at the Railyards.

This event will be held in various locations across Albuquerque

Music and Dance l Ballet Pro Musica Festival

15 – 17 August

The Ballet Pro Musica Festival is a unique combination of classical ballet and chamber music. This year, the event features dancers from the Jalisco Ballet of Mexico, Mexico’s newest classical ballet company. Inspired by the acclaimed European Ballet Jeunesse, the Jalisco Ballet features dances only between the ages of 18 and 28. The dancers perform original choreography, together with live music played by La Catrina Quartet and pianist Jacquelyn Helin. The pre-performance panel discussions with the event’s artistic directors offer insight into this innovative blend of music and dance.

Ballet Pro Musica Festival, National Hispanic Cultural Center, 1701 Fourth St. S.W., Albuquerque, NM, United States, +1 505 246 2261

Ballet Pro Musica Festival
© Ballet Pro Musica Festival

Food l Harvest Festival

16 – 17 August

Harvest Festival is a celebration of this area’s agricultural heritage, featuring locally-grown food, music, and other farm-related festivities. Set in Wildlife West Nature Park, just east of the city, visitors can sample raspberries, pumpkins, sweet corn, honey, and other farm-fresh products. The festival also includes live music, a falcon show, blacksmith and chainsaw artist demonstrations, a tractor parade, and opportunities to interact with local wildlife. One of the highlights of the event is the chuckwagon dinner show, which includes a barbecue dinner, live bluegrass music, and special presentations.

Harvest Festival, Wildlife West Nature Park, Edgewood, NM, United States, +1 505 281 7655

Theatre l As You Like It

15 – 31 August

One of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, As You Like It, will be performed at the Aux Dog Theatre, an alternative, actor-centered performance center. This much-loved play tells the story of four pairs of confused lovers, caught in a series of mistaken identities and mix-ups. Directed by Jerry Ferraccio, artistic director for the Santa Fe Shakespeare Society, As You Like It is the first fully-staged production to take place in Aux Dog Theatre’s new X-Space. The cast includes Q. Michael Mander as Jacques and Jessica Osbourne as Audrey.

As You Like It, Aux Dog Theatre, 3011-15 Monte Vista Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM, United States, +1 505 254 7716

Film l Indie Q

21 August

Indie Q is a quarterly event that showcases films produced by Albuquerque’s local filmmakers. Screenings start at 7pm, and admission is free, plus popcorn, candy, and drinks are available for purchase. In addition to supporting Albuquerque’s emerging filmmakers, the event is an opportunity to see a film in the city’s landmark KiMo Theatre, where the event takes place. Built in 1927, this Pueblo Deco picture palace features an unusual blend of Art Deco architecture, Native American motifs and Southwestern design elements.

Indie Q, KiMo Theatre, 423 Central Ave. N.W., Albuquerque, NM, United States, +1 505 768 3522

Dance l Albuquerque Latin Dance Festival

21 – 24 August

The Albuquerque Latin Dance Festival is a series of events that allow visitors to learn about the difference styles of Latin dance; watch the performances of skilled dancers; as well as enjoy light-hearted free-dance sessions accompanied by Latin tunes. The main event features live performances by Toby Love and Son Como Son, along with an evening of food and social dancing. There are also nightly dance parties around the city, where visitors are free to show off their best dance moves or just enjoy the lively atmosphere. There are also more than 45 dance workshops offered as part of the festival, which range from introductory courses for beginners, to advanced classes for experienced dancers.

This event will be held in various locations across Albuquerque

Food and Drink l New Mexico Wine Festival

30 August – 1 September

The New Mexico Wine Festival, the state’s oldest wine festival, brings together major wineries from around the region for tastings and summer entertainment. Set just north of Albuquerque, visitors can sample and buy bottles from the more than 20 regional wineries represented at the event. The festival also features local arts and crafts vendors, with ceramics, glassware, jewellery, clothing, pottery, and other artisan products on offer. A line-up of local bands performs daily, while food vendors provide snacks and meals to accompany the wine.

New Mexico Wine Festival, North Camino del Pueblo, 243 S Camino Del Pueblo, Bernalillo, NM, United States, +1 505 867 3311

By Jessica Dawdy