The Fiesta de Santa Fe has faced controversy over the past year as community leaders struggled with what to do about the Entrada. But now it’s time to shout “Que viva la Fiesta!”
The Entrada pageant, depicting the re-occupation of Santa Fe by Don Diego de Vargas and the Spanish 12 years after the 1680 Pueblo Revolt, has faced growing protests from Native Americans in recent years. It’s being replaced today with a religion-themed event on the Plaza that emphasizes peace and reconciliation.
Meanwhile, all the fun stuff remains. Around noon today is traditionally when hundreds of Santa Feans come to the Plaza for a burrito, roasted corn or other Fiesta food and to meet up with old acquaintances after another year has passed.
The food booths and music continue on the Plaza all weekend. Of course, there will be the Pet Parade on Saturday and the Historical-Hysterical Parade on Sunday.
Here’s the Fiesta schedule:
6-7 a.m.: Pregon de la Fiesta
The official start of Fiestas de Santa Fe at the Rosario Chapel, 499 N Guadalupe St., during which the mayor will issue an official declaration for the beginning of the celebration, this year in a new version that emphasizes peace and reconciliation as the Entrada pageant leaves the schedule. Hot chocolate and bischochitos will be served.
9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Ongoing through Sunday, Sept. 9: Food booths on the Plaza
Food vendors will line the Plaza throughout the course of Fiesta weekend starting today.
9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Ongoing until Sept. 9: Fiesta Fine Arts and Crafts Market
A free, annual art market on the Santa Fe Plaza with booths selling jewelry, clothes, fine art, and more.
10 a.m.-10 p.m.: Ongoing music on the Plaza Bandstand
12-12:30 p.m.: Official opening of Fiesta featuring city, county and state officials
2 p.m.: Celebración de la Communidad de Fe (Celebration of Community Faith)
A replacement for the retired Entrada pageant, which depicted the re-occupation of Santa Fe by the Spanish 12 years after the Pueblo Revolt of 160, the new event is described as a celebration of shared religion with a focus on themes of peace and reconciliation. The event on the Plaza is scheduled to include prayers from pueblo leaders and Santa Fe’s Interfaith Leadership Alliance; a blessing from Archbishop John Wester of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe; and the singing of hymns
9-10:45 a.m.: Desfile de Los Niños (Pet Parade)
Lineup for the annual downtown parade starts at the New Mexico School for the Arts, 275 E. Alameda.
10:45 a.m.-10 p.m.: Ongoing music on the Plaza Bandstand
3 p.m.: La Merienda (Fashion Show)
The show exhibits preserved, traditional garments dating back to the 1880s. The event, attended by the Fiesta Court, is hosted by La Sociedad Folkorica de Nueva Mexico at the James A. Little Theatre, 1060 Cerrillos. Hot chocolate and biscochitos are served after the show. Entry is $10 cash or check at the door; free for children 12 and under.
7:30-11:30 p.m.: Gran Baile de la Fiesta featuring Perfect StrangR
A celebration honoring Fiesta Royalty at the Community Convention Center, 201 W. Marcy. The evening features Tierra Amarilla-based Country Western band Perfect StrangR. Tickets are $20 at the Fiesta Information Booth.
9:30-10 a.m.: Solemn Procession
A procession from the Palace of the Governors to the Cathedral Basilica featuring La Conquistadora (Our Lady of Peace). Free and open to the public
10 a.m.: Pontifical Mass
An annual service at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi. The mass includes traditional and mariachi music, dancing from Native American community members and appearances from the Fiesta Court.
10 a.m.-5 p.m.: Ongoing music on the Plaza Bandstand, with food booths
1-3 p.m.: Desfile de La Gente (Historical/Hysterical Parade)
An annual parade on the Santa Fe Plaza featuring local marching bands, politicians, floats and local groups. Registration to participate in the parade starts at 7 a.m. the day of the parade at the corner of Paseo de Peralta and Guadalupe. Registration costs from $50-$200 depending on the use of a vehicle and the type of organization participating. See more details at santafefiesta.org.
5:15 p.m.: Closing Ceremonies on the Plaza
7-8:30 p.m.: Mass of Thanksgiving and Candlelight Procession
Following a service at St. Francis Cathedral, there will be a candlelit walk to the Cross of the Martyrs on Paseo de Peralta between Otero Street and Hillside Avenue.