Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

A look at family-friendly events across the state to mark the start of the new year

Cathryn Cunningham / Journal

There is never just one way to celebrate the New Year in New Mexico.

This year there will be personal events – with health restrictions, of course.

From Santa Fe to Taos and

Las Cruces to Albuquerque, there is a lot of partying

To be able to welcome 2022.

Here are some of the free public and family-friendly events.


While there aren’t any public celebrations in the state’s largest city, there are still plenty of ways to ring in the New Year.

The Albuquerque Museum is holding “Before Dark New Year’s Eve” for free on Friday, December 31st, from 10 am to 2 pm.

The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science also participates in New Year’s Eve Before Darkness. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. In the atrium of the museum, visitors can take part from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., free of charge with regular admission

The Anderson Abruzzo International Balloon Museum also offers events from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. as part of “New Year’s Eve Before Darkness”.

According to official information, visitors can learn about history, science, sports and the art of ballooning. You can also go on a scavenger hunt to learn about the various exhibits in the museum. When the scavenger hunt is over, visitors can win a prize until noon. This event is also free of charge.

At Explora, the interactive museum brings back its “noon of the year” celebration. This event is for families with young children who don’t wake up until midnight.

Doors open at 10 a.m. with activities until 2 p.m.

The event will feature two indoor balloon drops with 2,022 balloons at noon.

According to museum officials, those planning to attend must reserve a chargeable space for the event in advance, as walk-ins are not accepted. For security reasons, the event is limited to 800 people. See explora.us for more information.

Santa Fe

The City Different will say “adios” in the Santa Fe Plaza in 2021 with the seventh New Year’s Eve.

The free festivities begin on Friday, December 31st at 8 p.m., when the plaza is heated by parking heaters and cozy piñon campfires smell the night air.

Manzanares, Sol Fire and Theo Kutsko provide live music from the plaza.

The Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe is offering free bizcochitos, New Mexico’s official state cookies, while supplies last.

At 11:45 pm, Mayor Alan Webber and city officials will invite the crowd to count down to a peaceful, prosperous New Year.

When the countdown ends, a colorful Zia symbol rises at midnight, handcrafted by a traditional local artisan. The Zia rises against the backdrop of sparkling fireworks launched from Santa Fe’s most historic hotel, La Fonda, in the plaza.

Officials say the event will be conducted in compliance with the public health regulations in force at the time. The event can also be viewed online at earthcam.com/usa/newmexico/santafe.


Revelers can head to Historic Taos Plaza on Friday, December 31, from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM.

Taos Mayor Dan Barrone and his family will serve a free roast pork dinner to the community and visitors.

Musical performances by Michael Hearne, Beat Root Revival and Chris Dracup will run from 5:30 pm

The fireworks are provided by Taos City and the Fire Department.

According to Taos officials, parking lots and vehicle traffic to the plaza will be closed on Friday, December 31, from 7:00 a.m. to midnight.

Pedestrian traffic and the Taos Plaza vendors will be open on Saturday January 1st. Officials say event parking is available in Loretto Parking Lot and McCarthy Parking Lot on Cantu Hill, across from I Love Taos. All paid parking spaces are free.

For disabled parking spaces and those who require ADA access to the event, there will be additional parking on the premises next to the McCarthy parking lot just behind the old County Courthouse.

The crosses

Will it be red or green?

In Las Cruces, the New Year’s Eve Chile Drop returns in person to the Plaza de Las Cruces on Friday, December 31st.

“We look forward to personally welcoming visitors to the Chile Drop,” said Dan Trujillo, Visit Las Cruces’ interim marketing director. “This unique event celebrates the food and culture of Las Cruces and is an exciting way to start a new year full of new experiences.”

Event organizers say there will be live music, food and entertainment in downtown Las Cruces from 9pm. The Memphis Band will headline the night.

Main Street will be closed off around the square to make the event accessible to pedestrians.

In previous years, when the chili was dropped, it was red, green, or both when the clock struck midnight. This year, the organizers will announce the vote to residents via a QR code or via their Facebook page.

Voting will run until 11pm on Friday, December 31st.

“A New Year is an opportunity to try something new and exciting,” added Trujillo. “If you’ve never been to Chile Drop, we invite you to visit Las Cruces and spice up your 2022. For those coming from out of town, don’t forget to try our local cuisine and taste the incredible flavors of Las Cruces for yourself. “

For more information about the event or to vote in advance, visit the Las Cruces Chile Drop Facebook page.

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