Annual Celebrations & Fiestas

Albuquerque is known internationally for the annual Balloon Fiesta that occurs early each fall, filling our skies with luminous, colorful balloons. But we have lots of other celebrations here as well – Mariachi Spectacular, Dia de los Muertos, The Grecian Festival, Twinkle Lights Parade, Globalquerque, and many more.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

For nine days in October, the New Mexico skies are painted as hundreds of balloons lift off from Albuquerque's Balloon Fiesta Park. Nothing rivals the power of Mass Ascension on crisp early mornings as these graceful giants leave the ground to take their place in the cerulean desert sky. For ballooning fans worldwide, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is a pilgrimage. There's something for everyone to enjoy . . . whimsical special shapes filled with equal parts of hot air and wonder, and Balloon Glows that create a magical night landscape for spectators to wander. No matter who you are, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta will leave you awestruck and wanting more.


Albuquerque Renaissance Faire

Lords and Ladies of Albuquerque, get ready for the most beloved event in the Kingdom. All of your favorites will return including The Tilted Tankard Tavern, Commoners' Food Court, Children's Realm, Village Shopping, Living History and live entertainment for the whole family!

Albuquerque Summerfests

Summerfests are an Albuquerque tradition dating back to the 1980s. Summerfests are free community events around town. They feature children's activities such as face painting, inflatables, and climbing walls, a microbrew garden for those who are of age, an artisan market full of handcrafted goods by local craftsmen, food trucks and more. It is fun for all ages. The best part of Summerfest is the live entertainment. Each Summerfest brings both local and national talent of all genres.

Traffic was closed to Central Ave. in Nob Hill for the Route 66 Summerfest, Saturday, July 16, 2016, in Albuquerque, N.M. (Marla Brose/Albuquerque Journal)


Dia de los Muertos

Dia de Los Muertos is an ancient tradition rooted in Mexico. It celebrates life and honors those who have passed on. Our particular celebration draws its influences from Jose Guadalupe Posada's early 1900's portrayal of personalities and professions as skeletons or Calaveras. Posada depicted rich and poor alike as skeletons in ordinary and sometimes outrageous but tragic life settings. Printed sheets would circulate during Dia De Los Muertos festivities where he would seize the opportunity for political satire and comedy. The Posada Calavera always seemed to be laughing, frolicking and up to some kind of mischief.



Freedom 4th

The best place to celebrate Independence Day in Albuquerque, and it's free! Enjoy the largest firework show in the state, food, local beer in the Microbrew Garden and free children activities.



A celebration of world music and culture! Enjoy musical performances in the intimate courtyard setting of the Fountain Courtyard, the state of the art 692-seat Albuquerque Journal Theatre and dance outside on the Plaza Mayor.


Grecian Festival

Immerse yourself in the sounds of the bouzóuki, the tastes of authentic Greek cuisine, and the eye-catching sights of dancers streaming by in colorful costumes. Enjoy shopping for imported jewelry, gifts, foods and pastries. Learn about the changeless Orthodox Christian faith with a tour of our own St. George Church. And most importantly, be happy and have fun! Na Zíse!


Mariachi Spectacular

Spectacular concert lives up to its name by presenting world renowned groups showcasing a variety of styles within the mariachi tradition. Performances are passionate, heart rendering interpretations of mariachi classic songs. Conference students as well as the general public experience mariachi music at its best. This concert provides extended learning for students in the delivery and presence of the tradition that brings us together!


Shakespeare on the Plaza

Enjoy a free public theatre program and spend an enchanting evening on Civic Plaza as The City of Albuquerque and The Vortex Theatre present "Macbeth" and "Comedy of Errors"! Experience classical theatre as it clashes with the urban cityscape of Downtown Albuquerque. Come early and enjoy pre-show entertainment or grab a bite from a local food truck and a cocktail at this family-friendly event.

Roberto E. Rosales/Journal Emma Montoya and Sam Lewis, center, rehearse on Civic Plaza for the upcoming Shakespeare on the Plaza. Wed Jun 07 10:59:40 -0600 2017 1496854777 FILENAME: 612882.jpg



Twinkle Lights Parade

It's Albuquerque’s brightest celebration! Featuring dancing elves, prancing horses, marching Knights and, of course, Jolly Ol' St. Nick will be just a few attractions this year. This free family-friendly holiday event will roll through Historic Nob Hill featuring hundreds of floats, marching bands, fire trucks, car clubs, organizations and businesses.