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Fiesta de Cerrillos features music, arts and crafts, food

The small community of Cerrillos is holding its popular yearly fiesta.

Fiesta de Cerrillos, which takes place on Saturday, Sept. 15, will feature music, arts and crafts, donkey races, hayrides, and food such as green chile hamburgers and hot dogs.

“We have a big grill going, and there’s free food by donation,” said Pat Brown, Fiesta de Cerrillos volunteer. “We’ll have a donation bin at the end of the table. There will be live music, several bands playing or single people singing, children’s games and activities, there’s horseback rides for children, arts and crafts vendors along First Street.”

New Mexico dance groups also will perform.

“There’s a group that comes out of Santa Fe with traditional Mexican dancing,” Brown said. “I call it Spanish dancing. It’s beautiful – all the girls in their big hoop skirts, and they start with the youngsters and go up to the adults. So traditional Spanish dancing, and something new for us this year is Native dancing, so there’s Native North American drumming and dancing.”

Donkeys might not be known for their speed, but in Cerrillos they race.

“Our special super-event is the donkey race and demonstration on Main Street around 3 o’clock in the afternoon,” Brown said. “In our river valley, in the Cerrillos area, there are quite a few people that have donkeys, and they have a donkey society and they will come and do some presentations and do a meet-and-greet and be out on the streets with the animals. We have some races in the afternoon, and they are racing for some monetary prizes. … About 10 to 12 (participate). There’s a donkey society, and many of these are rescue animals where people have taken them in and have become lifetime owners of these donkeys.”

Cerrillos is off the historic Turquoise Trail. It was established in the 1800s when the railroad went through it when it was a big mining district. Eventgoers can hop on a hay wagon and take a quick tour around the village.

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