a group of hot air balloons in the sky from Favorite New Mexico Fall Events & Festivals Worth the Trip on Slow Down, See More from New Mexico Calendar of Events, Fairs & Festivals: Fall on Slow Down, See More

Albuquerque International Balloon Festival

  • By Alison Plummer

Catch the creative spirit of New Mexico at celebrations, festivals, and events that engage the senses, treat the tastebuds, and make Fall fun.

In September, head to Santa Fe for the intriguing Burning of Zozobra; to Taos for music and the arts; and back to Santa Fe for superb food and wine. In October, be blown away by Albuquerque’s blockbuster balloon festival. In November, look for the Day of the Dead and life-affirming cranes.


Special Events in New Mexico: Worth the Detour


Burning of Zozobra
September 1, 2023, Santa Fe

99th Annual: Farewelling bad energy, this traditional burning of a 50-foot marionette was begun by Will Shuster in 1924. Made from wood, wire, and shredded paper, it’s stuffed with ‘glooms’, unwanted written messages, and papers sent to burn with Zozobra.

She Rises International Music Festival
September 2, 2023, Taos

Taos Celebrating female musicians and creatives. The lineup includes Shawn Colvin, Allison Russell, Andrea Magee, Gina Chavez, The Tiaras, and PAACK — and International Indigenous Choir.

Taos Fall Arts Festival
September 6-17, 2023, Taos

Not-for-profit visual arts show, celebrating Taos County artists across a diverse range of mediums, cultures, traditions, and ages.

New Mexico State Fair
September 7-17, 2023, Albuquerque

85th Annual: Join New Mexicans to celebrate local food, agriculture, culture, and creativity. Also: races, comedy, sideshows, and plenty of music and other entertainment.

Santa Fe Wine & Chile Festival
September 27-October 1, 2023, Santa Fe

32nd Annual: Begun in 1991 as a one-day event, wine and chile has grown to a full-on fiesta showcasing the city’s outstanding food and regional wine.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
October 7-15, 2023, Albuquerque

51st Annual: Fall brings blue skies, cooler mornings, and hundreds of colorful balloons of this fabulous annual spectacle. Also: skydiving, night glows, drone shows, dawn patrols, and the creative “Special Shape Rodeo.” See our itinerary to help you plan. See our itinerary to help you plan.

Taos Mountain Balloon Rally
October 27-29, 2023, Taos

40th Annual: The high country colors are spectacular in the Fall, and the balloon festival adds another dimension, hosting around 35 balloons each year.

Dia de Los Muertos Marigold Parade
November 5, 2023, Albuquerque

Annual procession and celebration held on the first Sunday of November to celebrate the Day of the Dead.

Festival of the Cranes
From November, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, ‘Around New Mexico’

30th Annual: Takes place during crane migrations (from November). This annual event includes refuge tours, bird, geology, and art workshops, along with keynote speakers. Check the actual date after September 9.


Full Calendars of Events

New Mexico

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