The Friends of the Coronado and Jemez Historic Sites are hosting their 15th annual “Fiesta of Cultures” this month.
After a four-year hiatus, the “Fiesta of Cultures” returns from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Coronado Historic Site in Bernalillo.
The event is one of the only festivals that celebrates the rich cultures of New Mexico. There is no charge to attend the family-friendly event.
“Although we are a state comprised of many different and wonderful cultures, the ‘Fiesta of Cultures’ is unique in that it recognizes the customary food, art, music and dance of New Mexico, including the Native American, Hispanic and Anglo cultures that have played a role in our state’s history,” said Friends of Coronado and Jemez Historic Sites’ president, Sherry Hardage. “Although our cultures are diverse, we are united through our environment, history and humanity.”
Doors to the site open at 10 a.m. with an all-day art and crafts show featuring artists such as Ralph Sarracino and Adrian Wall. Various artists will lead live demonstrations in wood carving, horno bread baking and kachina carving. The site’s new horno will offer free samples of fresh, warm bread. Food trucks will be available and include unique flavors by Jemez Pueblo Foods, Busy Bee Frozen Custard and Vicky Tortalita’s.
Cover band “Bad Habit and the Enablers” will perform at 10:30 a.m. followed by performances by the Spanish Broom Flamenco Dance Troop at 2 p.m.
Attendees will have a chance to win works of art donated by fiesta artists through a raffle that benefits the Friends of Coronado and Jemez Historic Sites Group. Tickets are $2 each or three for $5.
Children’s activities will include arts and crafts workshops, a chance to see wild birds up close through a bird rescue organization, among other activities.
The Friends of Coronado and Jemez Historic Sites originally started the fiesta 15 years ago in an effort to support Coronado Historic Site’s educational efforts. The event has included everything from flintknapping workshops to Spanish colcha embroidery, blacksmithing, natural plant dyeing, storytelling and more.
Coronado Historic Site was established in 1940 and houses the remnants of a Tiwa village and is an active archaeological site. The site was named for the Spanish explorer, Coronado, whose expedition came to the area around 1540 AD. The site’s visitor center exhibits artifacts from the Kuaua settlement, the original kiva murals and features a reconstructed painted kiva depicting those murals, a gift shop, and interpretive trails offering spectacular views of the Sandia Mountains and Rio Grande.
The site has recently undergone significant renovations since the last Fiesta in 2019. Improvements include more handicapped-accessible walkways, renovated restrooms, new museum exhibits, a new horno and a new interpretive signage and artwork in the video room.