This year marks the 302nd anniversary of Fiesta de Santa Fe. The original Fiesta began in 1712 as a celebration of cultures (Spanish and Native American) coming together in peace. I have attached a link from El Palacio that shows the original proclamation of Santa Fe Fiesta on September 16, 1712. The proclamation speaks specifically to “vespers, mass, sermon and procession through the main plaza”. Throughout the years additions have been made to the original ceremonies and I wonder how the original scribes might view the evolution and additions to Fiesta. All in all, the Santa Fe Fiesta Council has maintained the integrity of the religious ceremonies while adding events to draw in a more diverse group of people, hoping to create enjoyment of both a deeply rooted historical festivity and a lively, more modern, scope of activities.
Santa Fe Fiesta begins at 9am on Friday, September 5 and ends on Sunday evening around 9pm with the final procession. Walk just a few blocks to the historic Santa Fe plaza and meet various artists during the weekend Arts and Crafts Market. Artists showcase their unique jewelry, pottery, clothing, hand-blown glass and many more items while you peruse and possibly find a treasured memento to purchase.
There are numerous food booths available, too. But, our restaurant Del Charro is open from 11:30am - midnight if you want to take a break from it all. Remember to check on our daily $6.00 special when you come in for lunch or dinner.
During the weekend events, the Plaza Gazebo (bandstand) will serve as the concert venue for Fiestas. See historic Native American or Aztec dancers, vibrant costumed Mexican folklorico dancers or the Matichene dancers. What a wonderful way to experience our rich multi-cultural heritage all in one place. Here’s the link to the bandstand schedule. At 2pm on opening day, you can witness the 2014 Entrada de Don Diego de Vargas on the bandstand. This re-enactment shares a detailed insight into the true meaning of Fiesta de Santa Fe.
One of the favorite “local” events is the Desfile de los Ninos (also known as the Pet Parade). This year the Grand Marshal will be our very own Santa Fe Animal Shelter. The theme is Hawaiian and although you might be a “kid at heart”, to participate you must have a child and an animal with you. About 2000 children participate each year and prizes are awarded at the end of the event at the bandstand. The parade begins at 9am on Saturday, September 6 at the New Mexico School for the Arts. Such fun!
Sunday morning at 9:30am, the solemn procession begins at the Palace of the Governors. Retrace the footsteps of Santa Fe’s ancestors as they process with La Conquistadora to the Cathedral Basilica de St. Francis of Assisi for a pontifical mass. The mass is infused with traditional music, a dance prayer by Native Americans, Mariachi and the Santa Fe Fiesta royal court.
I do encourage you to bear witness to the Desfile de la Gente or better known to us locals “Historical/Hysterical parade”. Anything and everything goes at this fun parade. It begins at 1pm at the Devargas mall on Guadalupe Street and winds its way to the plaza.
I do believe that the final event “Mass and Candlelight Procession” is truly a beautiful event and would be a wonderful way to end your weekend with us. Mass begins Sunday evening at 7pm (at the Basilica) and the candlelight procession leads to the Cross of the Martyrs.
I hope you enjoy our festive, historical and sometimes hysterical events while visiting Santa Fe and the Inn of the Governors. Safe travels, Deb Swanson