Las Cruces' calendar is loaded with family-friendly events, and some revolve around the frontier and cowboy history of the area (LasCrucescvb.org). Other events give a nod to the Mexican influence, while others are art and culture-oriented. Several events are season specific, but every event listed here is well-suited for family participation and fun.
Nearly 100 colorful balloons fill the skies over Las Cruces for the Mesilla Valley Balloon Rally in Brown Farm Field.
This is "For the Love of Art" month, which includes a book fair, book vendors, a children's parade and storytelling.
(575) 524-3262, ext 117
March is Cowboy Days month. Relive the Old West at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum and honor the western legend. Activities include riding and roping demonstrations, "cowboy food", cowboy poetry and dancing.
Authors from all over the world attend the Annual Border Book Festival in Las Cruces. There are live performances of music and dance, as well as food and readings for adults and children.
The Cinco de Mayo Fiesta (Fifth of May Party) is the traditional Mexican fiesta that honors Mexico's second revolution. See traditional folklorico dancing, listen to mariachi music and enjoy food on the historic Old Mesilla Plaza.
The Blessing of the Field, formerly La Fiesta de San Ysidro, is a celebration of New Mexico's 3,000 year-old farming history and it features farming demonstrations, a blessing of the fields, folkorico dancers, mariachi music and an evening dance.
New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum
The Annual Fourth of July Electric Light Parade, Celebration and Fireworks commemorates our country's adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The city celebrates with a parade of floats decorated with electric lights. There is live entertainment throughout the day and a spectacular fireworks display at night. All events are free and open to the public.
Try the Mesilla Valley Maze for the most fun that you can have in a corn field. Bring your kids (and those who are "kids at heart") to the rural fun at the Mesilla Valley Maze. You can take a hayride to the pumpkin patch to find the perfect Jack-o-Lantern, and then discover all of the twists and turns cut into a corn field. Saturdays and Sundays.
3855 West Picacho Avenue
Diez y Seis de Septiembre (16th of September) celebrates Mexico's Independence. See folklorico dancers, listen to mariachi music and eat Mexican cuisine.
Old Mesilla Plaza
At the Whole Enchilada Fiesta, after the chile is harvested, why not have an enchilada fiesta? This is Las Cruces' street party with food, dancing, a parade and the making of the official "world's largest enchilada."
Meerscheidt Recreation Center
The Southern New Mexico State Fair and Rodeo has some fun for everyone, with its midway, auction, food, music, livestock shows.
Southern New Mexico State Fairgrounds
At the RenFaire (Renaissance ArtsFaire) rub elbows with Kings and Queens. Local, state and regional artists come in to participate in a juried art show and exhibition. Highest-quality arts and crafts are for sale along with theater, dancing, music and food, presented with a Renaissance theme.
The Las Cruces International Mariachi Conference/Concert is a week-long educational conference. It culminates with a spectacular concert featuring internationally known mariachi performers. Attend the Parque Festival at Young Park and watch the entertainment and cultural activities.
New Mexico State University Pan American Center and Young Park
Enjoy the Christmas carols and luminarias on the Plaza, when the village of Old Mesilla glows with thousands of luminarias and caroling.
Genevieve Van Wyden began writing in 2007. She has written for “Tu Revista Latina” and owns three blogs. She has worked as a CPS social worker, gaining experience in the mental-health system. Van Wyden earned her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from New Mexico State University in 2006.