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Albuquerque Founders Day Celebration

An Annual Birthday Event


Albuquerque Founders Day Celebration
© Aileen O'Catherine
Every April, Albuquerque celebrates its birthday with the Albuquerque Founders Day Fiesta, or Fiestas de Albuquerque, in Old Town. For 2013, the city turns 307! Every year, the celebration grows, and this year is no exception. There will be celebrations in five areas in Old Town, each representing one of New Mexico's historic eras. The fiesta is free of charge.

The event takes place Saturday, April 20 in Old Town, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be entertainment throughout Old Town. Enjoy historic demonstrations, flamenco dancers, music, performances and more.

Children's activities will include a rock climbing wall, face painting, panning for gold and more.

Schedule of Events
The 2013 schedule will present the history of Albuquerque in five eras:

    Native American Era
    The Native American era predates the city's founding.
    Location: Romero and Church Streets
  • Noon, a display of encrypted messages from the Navajo Code talkers
  • 3 p.m., Red Feather Dancers
  • 4 p.m., Shelly Morningsong and Fabian Fontelle

Spanish Era, 1706 - 1822
This era will feature descendants of the city's founders. Albuquerque was founded in 1706 and was originally a Spanish colonial outpost known as Ranchos de Albuquerque.
Location: Find the Spanish Era in the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History Courtyard.

  • 2 p.m., Demonstrations by tin makers and santeros
  • 2 p.m., Ballet En Fuego with Cielo Castanetes workshop
  • 4 p.m., Yjastros Flamenco

Mexican Era, 1822-1846
In 1821, New Mexico was acquired by Mexico, which reaffirmed its independence from Spain.
Location: Plaza Hacienda
Pinata breaking and making workshop, arts and crafts, historic poetry, all hosted by the Mexican consulate. The era also features ballet by Folklorico Fiesta Mexicana, live music by Mariachi Nuevo Mexico, and food from Backstreet Grill and La Hacienda Restaurant.

Territorial Era, 1851 - 1912
Location: Old Town and San Felipe Street
After a transitional period from 1846 to 1851, New Mexico became a territory of the United States, and a part of the wild west. Hear historic music from Apple Mountain Strings, along with blacksmith demonstrations and great food.

Albuquerque Now, 1912 - Present
Location: Gazebo
Albuquerque has grown into a city with a rich culture. Hear music by the Territorial Brass Band, Syd Masters and Lumbre Review. At 3:30 p.m., Mariachi Nuevo Sonido and Mariachi San Jose will lead the crowd in singing Happy Birthday and Mananitas.

Take a photo tour of Old Town.
Find restaurants in Old Town.

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