Discover the best annual Santa Fe summer events for a season of markets, festivals, and fiestas.
Santa Fe summer events explore a rich heritage of Southwest culture. From acclaimed markets to hallowed local traditions, there is something fun to discover almost every weekend during a summer stay in The City Different. These are our picks for “must see” Santa Fe summer events. You won’t want to miss a single one.
1. Rodeo de Santa Fe
Just as the summer starts in earnest, it’s time for the annual Rodeo de Santa Fe. The American West has a powerful association with the hard-riding, quick-roping cowboy tradition. And it’s all on display right here. The spirit of the Old West fills the rodeo grounds outside Santa Fe with bronco-busting, bull-riding, dirt-flinging excitement. Throw in plenty of carnival rides and a smorgasbord of food stalls, and you have the recipe for a rip-roaring rodeo of epic proportions.
Date: June 23-26, 2021
Location: Santa Fe Rodeo Grounds
Phone: (505) 471-4300
2. 4th of July
Santa Fe loves America’s birthday. The most important meal of the day gets special treatment on Independence Day with Pancakes in the Plaza. You’ll find more than just flapjacks in the square on July 4. Classic cars, local art, and live music are on display for spectators to enjoy. And that’s just the start of the day.
Later, stop by the fireworks show. The festivities actually start several hours before the show, with live bands, food trucks, bounce houses, and all sorts of patriotic displays. Once the sun goes down, stay on for the main event. The fireworks show is the best in the state, with rich colors blooming over the desert landscape in a darkened sky.
Date: July 4, 2021
Location: Santa Fe Plaza
Phone: (505) 470-0534
3. International Folk Art Market
There’s a funny story behind the first of Santa Fe’s famous summer art markets. It was originally slated to be a one-off event back in 2004. It was such a smashing success that it has become part of the fabric of Santa Fe’s summer event schedule.
The market is a rich and colorful celebration of traditional arts from around the world. Honoring more than just the multicultural heritage of Santa Fe itself, this is a global event representing hand-made wares and arts from more than 100 nations. There is no better place to discover a new passion, connect with global traditions, and explore the works of master artisans.
More than just a market, each year’s schedule also includes a parade of artists, live folk music and dancing, lectures, and other outreach efforts. For two weeks of the year, Santa Fe becomes the crossroads of the world—a place where everyone can enjoy a community of skilled craftspeople from around the globe.
Date: July 7-18, 2021
Location: Milner Plaza at Museum Hill and 620 Cerrillos Rd
Price: $20 for admission, $85 for early-bird market, $250 for opening night party
Phone: (505) 992-7600
4. Traditional Spanish Market
Santa Fe is the oldest state capital in the country. It is also home to the oldest and largest juried Spanish Market in the US. It attracts more than 350 Hispanic artists and craftspeople every year, filling the plaza with a riot of color, sound, and smell. With over 400 years of history, the very stones of the plaza are steeped in the traditional arts and crafts on display.
Artists compete for honor and prizes in juried categories across several traditional artistic disciplines, with 19 total categories to choose from. Collectors and visitors have a chance to take home a piece of Southwest history from the many artists who bring their wares for judgment.
For those not shopping for a fresh addition to their collection, singing, dancing, live music, and other performances fill the bandstand, and traditional food vendors fill the streets around the plaza. In the spirit of cultural tradition, a Sunday Catholic mass offers to bless the artists wares, eventually proceeding from the nearby basilica to the bandstand to bless the market as a whole.
Date: July 24-25, 2021
Location: Santa Fe Plaza
Phone: (505) 982-2226
5. Indian Market
There’s more than one juried art show in the plaza. Every August, more than 1,200 native artists are invited by the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture to display their wares as part of the Santa Fe Indian Market. Artists represent traditional arts from across the American Southwest and the rest of the country.
The yearly display includes deeply historic as well as contemporary native cultural expressions, and each artist is a registered member of a recognized tribal group. Judged works meet strict standards for both quality and authentic materials in order to be eligible for top prizes. The market is a unique opportunity for indigenous artists to connect with the community, display their works, and sell their wares. It is the perfect time to learn more about the peoples who predate the founding of Santa Fe by European colonists and make that heritage a part of your home.
Date: August 21-22, 2021
Location: Santa Fe Plaza
Phone: (505) 983-5220
6. The Burning of Zozobra
The annual burning of Old Man Gloom is one of Santa Fe’s most unusual traditions. Before fall approaches, a 50-foot marionette effigy erupts in flames, filled with tens of thousands of “glooms” submitted by the community. For almost 100 years, this massive inferno has consumed our problems and filled the night with grand spectacle.
What started as a 1924 event at an artists gathering has become a season-defining oddity that raises funds for the local Kiwanis Club and children’s charities. It has developed over the decades to become an almost ritual event involving a fire dance, a raucous celebration, and the burning of the effigy itself. Come fill Zozobra with your own gloom—divorce papers, pink slips, bad reviews, or whatever you please—or just dance and shout as Old Man Gloom goes up in flames. This is a unique event you won’t find anywhere else, and one that everyone should experience at least once.
Date: September 3, 2021
Location: Fort Marcy Park
Phone: (855) 969-6272
7. Fiesta de Santa Fe
The Fiesta is one of Santa Fe’s oldest celebrations. For more than 300 years, the City of Santa Fe takes to the plaza to celebrate its unique culture and achievements. The Fiesta Council signed a proclamation in 1712 declaring an annual celebration of the reconquest of New Mexico in 1692. Since then, this September festival has been a time of special significance for the denizens of The City Different, in one shape or another.
In fact, the Fiesta has had its share of ups and downs over the years, with the meaning of the celebration shifting over time to become a general celebration of Southwest heritage rather than a glorification of Spanish conquest. Two of the events already mentioned here, The Spanish Market and Zozobra, both spun off from the Fiesta over one disagreement or another.
In modern times, the event includes parades, an art market, delicious food, music and dancing, pageantry, and religious observance. It is one of the biggest parties of the year in Santa Fe, taking place each year on the weekend after Labor Day. Stop by and get the true Santa Fe experience during this centuries-long celebration.
Date: September 10-12, 2021
Location: Santa Fe Plaza
Phone: (505) 470-6325
8. Wine and Chile Fiesta
For five days each September, you are invited to enjoy the unique food and wine culture of New Mexico in this celebration of culinary excellence. More than 75 local restaurants and wineries partner to bring you the best in the Southwest. Events include dinners and luncheons, tastings, seminars, demonstrations, and cooking lessons. If you want to see what dining is all about in Santa Fe, this is the best place to start.
Date: September 19-26
Location: Across Santa Fe
Phone: (505) 438-8060
Santa Fe Lodging For Every Event
You may have noticed that almost all of Santa Fe’s biggest events take place on or near Santa Fe Plaza. Fort Marcy Hotel Suites is located within walking distance of the plaza, just five blocks away. Nine acres of landscaped grounds and dozens of traditional adobe condos will serve as your home away from home whether you are here for a quiet summer getaway or a major Santa Fe summer event. Book today and you’ll be ready for every market, fiesta, or festival the City Different has to offer.