In many places, Labor Day is considered the end of summer and a time to begin winding down for autumn. In Santa Fe, Labor Day is a time to celebrate the kickoff of our autumn event season. We wash our gloom away in a fiery ritual, embrace the cooler temps as we run to the mountains for recreation, celebrate our harvest of regional staples, including world-famous Hatch green and Chimayo red chile, and still find time to celebrate the oldest continuous civic celebration in North America.
Here are a few tips for enjoying Labor Day weekend in Santa Fe.
Burning of Zozobra
September 1, 2023
The Burning of Zozobra celebrates its 99th anniversary as unique cultural festival held in downtown Santa Fe. Zozobra, a 50-foot high marionette, is stuffed with shredded paper on which is written the community's past year of worries and gloom. He is set aflame in a highly choreographed pageant amid fireworks and cheers and chants from the thousands of spectators who fill Fort Marcy Ball Park. Fireworks color the night sky as the gloom and doom of the crowd goes up in smoke. This event traditionally marks the kickoff to the Fiestas de Santa Fe.
September 2–10, 2023
If there’s one tradition that captures the spirit of historic and enduring Santa Fe, it’s the annual celebration, Fiestas de Santa Fe, originating in 1712 to commemorate a shift in the cultural composition of The City Different. This event is the longest continuously running celebration in the US! With parades, dancing, concerts, art markets, and the Burning of Zozobra, Fiestas de Santa Fe is a feast for all the senses.
In the early 20th century, flamenco took hold and found a new home in the Southwest. Many of New Mexico’s earliest flamenco artists hail from generations old New Mexican families. They traveled from New Mexico to Spain, studying with local artists and practitioners, bringing their knowledge back to New Mexico to pass it on to future generations. Today, New Mexican flamenco is five generations strong and counting, and Santa Fe is one of the top destinations in the United States to see flamenco outside of Spain. Plan to ahead to see an illustrious performance at one of these fine locations: Entreflamenco, EmiArte Flamenco, El Farol Flamenco, and Serenta Flamenco on Sky Railway.
Fiesta de los Niños
September 2 & 3, 2023
The City Different's living history museum El Rancho de las Golondrinas presents cultural events to give visitors a sense of life in New Mexico in the 18th and 19th centuries. Bring the whole family to the 20th Annual Santa Fe Fiesta de los Niños, where the kiddos can participate in hands-on activities like learning how to grind corn, make candles and ropes, spin wool, and much more. Enjoy youth performances and great food and drink.
The Margarita Trail promises to be one of your most memorable Santa Fe culinary adventures. Your adventure starts with purchasing the Margarita Trail Passport at any TOURISM Santa Fe Visitors Center or downloading the app via Google Play or the Apple App Store. With close to 50 margaritas on the Trail to tantalize your taste buds, you’re sure to find a favorite or two! As an added bonus, with your Passport you will receive interactive maps and $1 off the signature Margarita Trail cocktail.
Take the Taste of Santa Fe Home
September is chile harvest month! Do as the locals do and purchase your year supply of green chile during this plentiful time. You may know that chile production has a significant impact on New Mexico’s economy. In fact, in 2021, New Mexico produced 51,000 tons chile, with an estimated value of $45 million, making it the top cash crop in the state. Join in the taste sensation. Just follow your nose to find roasters in parking lots across The City Different or at the Santa Fe Farmers' Market.