ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Rio Grande Arts and Crafts Festival and its giant white tent at the southwest corner of I-25 and Paseo del Norte — a mainstay during Balloon Fiesta time for 25 years — is moving to a new home at the 17-acre racetrack infield at Expo New Mexico.
Its old site, of course, has become a construction hot zone as the Paseo interchange project progresses.
Ironically, starting this October, the popular arts and crafts festival will be held on the same site the Balloon Fiesta was held exactly 40 years ago, the racetrack infield at Expo NM.
The new tent location is the brainchild of Festival Director Ruth Gore and Dan Mourning, general manager of Expo New Mexico, the two said in a news release.
The spacious infield will provide a great permanent location for the festival’s huge tent, as well as triple the parking spaces, continuous shuttles, easy access just off Louisiana and I-40 and close to Uptown and the malls, Gore said.
The festival routinely features 280 juried artists and craftsmen from across the country; live entertainment, artist demonstrations, culinary arts are with food samples, a kids’ creation station, and an inside view of live horse racing.
Times and dates aer Oct. 3 to 5 and Oct. 10 to12 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Entrance for the festival is Gate 8, off Louisiana just south of Lomas.
Admission is $8 or $15 for a festival pass good for all six days or a grande pass fro $21 good for October, November and March shows. Return parking is free for the extended passes.
Parking is $5 a Expo NM.
For more information, visit www.riograndefestivals.com.