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Spanish festivals, museums in northern New Mexico.

Other areas may be winding down their summer festivities and settling into some more serious autumn business. But now through early October, northern New Mexico still looks forward to four Spanish folk-life festivals, including one of the country's oldest celebrations.

Here's what's planned, with a guide to

museum exhibits that highlight Spain's two centuries of colonial rule in New Mexico. (See also the feature story beginning on page 62.) All telephone numbers are area code 505.

Albuquerque: August 27 and 28. Fiesta Artistica gives visitors a chance to meet more than a hundred performing artists and craftsmen from Hispanic New Mexico. It opens with a parade at 10 Saturday starting from Civic Plaza.

Also at Civic Plaza, food booths offer everything from posole (a stew with hominy in it) to blue corn tamales. Folk musicians, singers, and dancers perform on outdoor stages noon to 10 Saturday, noon to 7 Sunday. The shows are free. Next door at the convention center, juried arts and crafts-both contemporary and traditional-are for sale. Ninety artists entered last year. Santeros (makers of wooden saints) and other woodcarvers, weavers, embroiderers, tinsmiths, straw inlay artists, wreath makers, and even saddlery makers will participate. The honored artist is Luisito Lujan, a santero from Nambe.

You can also see documentaries on Hispanic life and history, and meet authors of books on Hispanic subjects. Hours are 10 to 8 Saturday, 10 to 5 Sunday; $1 ages 13 and over.

On Friday, before the main fiesta, folk violinist Cleofes Ortiz and Orquestra Tipica revive traditional music from New Mexico's Spanish villages; 8 Pm. at the KiMo Theater, 423 Central Avenue N.W.; $4. For more information, call the fiesta's coordinator, Bernadette Rodriguez LeFebre, at 768-3490.

Santa Fe: September 9, 10, and 11. According to legend, Fiesta de Santa Fe was born when Diego de Vargas made a vow to La Conquistadora, a statue of the Virgin (the original one is still carried in many fiesta events). If she would let him resettle Santa Fe peacefully following the Pueblo Indian revolt of 1680, he promised to celebrate her name every year.

Twelve years later, he and 200 soldiers returned to Santa Fe. In 1712, a proclamation signed after Vargas' death made the celebration official, and New Mexico's capital city has honored that vow most years since.

Presiding over the fiesta are men dressed in 17th-century style, and the fiesta queen and princesses in Spanish-flavored finery. These winners of an annual competition must be bilingual and native-born.

For a complete schedule (related events started in July), write to the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce, Box 1928, Santa Fe 87504. Most action centers around the Plaza; hours are 9 A.M. to about 10 PM. Friday and Saturday, till 6 on Sunday.

At 6:25 A.M. on Friday, Mass honoring Diego de Vargas begins at Rosario Chapel the spot where he camped before entering Santa Fe. From 6 Pm. to dusk, the burning of Zozobra-a 40-foot-tall straw puppet representing gloom lights up the sky. This 1930s fiesta addition, held at Old Fort Marcy Park, attracts huge crowds and includes lots of fireworks.

Saturday, a children's parade starts at 10 in the Plaza. At 4 there, a historical pageant depicts the day in 1692 when Vargas reclaimed Santa Fe.

Sunday at 9:30 A.M., the costumed Vargas and friends proceed to St. Francis Cathedral for Mass at 10. At 2, the Historical Hysterical parade begins (and later ends(at De Vargas Mall, passing the Plaza en route. Included are Vargas and his men on horseback, and lots of local political satire. At 7 am., a Mass of Thanksgiving begins at the cathedral, followed by everyone joining in a 1/2-mile candlelight procession to the Cross of Martyrs, commemorating 19 Spanish priests killed during the Pueblo Indian revolt of 1680.

Taos. October 1 and 2. The Third Annual Old Taos Trade Fair re-creates an 1820s gathering. Indians, Spanish settlers, and mountain men meet at Martinez Hacienda museum to recapture the spirit and style of Taos' original fairs. It includes crafts demonstrations, native foods, and entertainment; 9 to 5 both days; $2.50 adults, $1.50 ages 5 to 15, $2 seniors.

La Cienega: October 8 and 9. Some hundred volunteers in period dress will come to Las Golondrinas, a 200-acre 18thcentury Spanish village 10 miles south of Santa Fe, for Harvest Festival.

In this privately owned museum Spanish New Mexico's answer to Williamsburgparticipants will harvest corn and beans in the old way, cut up apples to dry for winter, play songs on guitars and violins, and perform a matachines dance (an ancient masked Moorish pageant of good versus evil; see photograph at lower left on page 62). Hours are 9 to 4 both days.

If you can't come for Harvest Festival or for the equally lively Spring Festival in June, visit summer's final open house, from 10 to 4 on September 4. Or, through October 31, you can join guided school tours almost every weekday; call 471-2261,

Museums offer background detail

Albuquerque. Albuquerque Museum's "Four Centuries: A History of Albuquerque" features armor and weapons brought to this area in the 16th and 17th centuries by conquistadores, as well as displays of 18thcentury domestic life. You can also get a good introduction to Spanish colonial weavings. At 2000 Mountain Road N.W., it's open 10 to 5 Tuesdays through Fridays, 1 to 5 weekends; $2, $1 ages 16 and under.

Santa Fe. "Hispanic Art in the United

States: Thirty Contemporary Painters and Sculptors" (through November 27) is the largest and most diverse exhibit of its kind; it includes six artists from New Mexico. It's so big that it needs two locations: the Museum of International Folk Art, 706 Camino Lejo, and the Museum of Fine Arts, 107 W. Palace Avenue. Hours: 10 to 5 daily; $3 adults, $1.25 ages 6 to 16.

Taos. The permanent collection at the Millicent A. Rogers Museum features Spanish arts from the 1800s to the present; included are bultos (carved saints), retablos (saints painted on wood), New Mexican Hispanic textiles, and typical colonial household items. Through January, you can also see colcha embroidery. The museum is 4 miles north of town on State Highway 522, then left I mile on Museum Road. It's open 9 to 5 daily through October 31, then 10 to 4 Wednesdays through Sundays until May 1; $3 adults, $1 ages 6 to 16 and over 65.

You can also visit the Martinez Hacienda museum (see end of High Road tour, on page 66).

Summer events in 1989

Santa Fe. Spanish Market, July 29 and 30. The biggest and best exhibit and sale of New Mexican Hispanic crafts takes place at the Plaza. Craftsmen from villages set up booths and sell their juried crafts: buteos, colcha embroidery, furniture, reredos, straw inlay, and tinware. For details, write to Spanish Colonial Arts Society, Box 1611, Santa Fe 87504.

Espahola:Onate Fiesta, July 7, 8, and 9. Parades, reenactments, Masses in historic churches, food, and entertainment celebrate the 16th-century Spanish settlement of this valley. Write or call Espanola Chamber of Commerce, 417 Big Rock Center, Espanola
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Date:Sep 1, 1988
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