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Rodeo-themed fiesta celebrates nation’s food, arts and crafts

Mexican culture, cuisine, art and more will be celebrated during the ¡Viva México! Fiesta in Santa Fe.

The 11th annual event will be held on Saturday, July 21, and Sunday, July 22, at El Rancho de las Golondrinas. This year’s theme is charreada, a Mexican rodeo that precedes the American rodeo by many years.

“It’s maybe not as popular in America as has been in Mexico for many years, and it was brought to the United States,” said Vic Macias, events manager at El Rancho de las Golondrinas. “(It features) a lot of different tournaments. It’s basically tricks on horses or standing up on top of a horse, different horse riding, different horse trick riding, that kind of stuff. There also is different horse reining. It kind of changes depending on the event. Some of them happen to be big. Some happen in big arenas just like regular bull riding (events). This one is edited for it to be shorter for our event. There’s definitely horse trick riding still involved, which is kind of cool.”

There will be traditional Mexican foods, such as tacos by Santa Fe’s Tres Colores Restaurant and seafood by Mariscos Costa Azul. Juanita’s Frutas y Frescas will have Mexican-style fruit cups with spices and lemon and fruit, as well as agua frescas. Two Sprout Farm, which is the in-house caterer at El Rancho de las Golondrinas will have burritos, tamales and churros. All will be located in an area called La Fonda Mexicana, under a big tent.

In addition to food and rodeo, there will be 33 artists from different parts of Mexico at the event. Famous weaver Bulmaro Perez Mendoza of Tecutlan, Teotitlán del Valle, Oaxaca, Mexico, will have his rugs and tapestry. He also usually does a lecture on the techniques of dyeing and weaving that they use in Mexico.

“They will be bringing in their arts and crafts from Mexico to sell,” Macias said. “It’s pretty cool. There will be several different and new artisans that are coming also. They have some really genuine goods. We are changing it up a little bit. We have a different variety involved. We have the state of Oaxaca represented, artisans from Chihuahua and artists from Jalisco.”

Folklorico dance performances as well as mariachi groups will be featured at the event. This year will also feature Aztec dancing. The Aztec dancers have not been able to come to the event the past couple of years and are able to come this year. A curandera, or spiritual healer, also will participate in the event.