December is Santa Fe – Events Not to Miss

 

December Events You Just Can’t Miss

Do you want to experience December differently this year? Then plan a visit to The City Different. Santa Fe never looked prettier dressed in all her holiday color and lights! Add to that a town nestled in historic traditions, then throw in some snow, mix in a bit of annual celebration and voila!  You have the perfect Santa Fe winter holiday getaway! It’s our good fortune to have a myriad of festive events that spotlight a different kind holiday season. Bright blue skies with crisp frosty air and ski ready landscape? Got it. World-renowned regional cuisine? Always. Holiday music and performing arts? Hello! We’ve got it all. Here are a few of the top December events taking place in The City Different.

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Christmas at the Palace 

Christmas at the Palace is one of the beloved December Events

Did you know Santa Fe has its own Palace? The Palace of the Governors that is, which distinguishes Santa Fe with the oldest continuously operating government building in the United States. On December 7, 2018, the annual celebration, Christmas at the Palace, takes place in the magical setting of this venerable historic compound on the Santa Fe Plaza from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

The Palace welcomes revelers to an old-fashioned holiday party that honors the holiday traditions of the Pueblo people and the Spanish settlers. Settle in with a cup of hot cider for the music and merriment of the evening. The History Museum and Palace will close at 3 p.m. to prepare for this event. Enter through the Palace at 105 W. Palace Ave. The History Museum will remain closed during the event.


Las Posadas

This December events is a Santa Fe Tradition
Photo courtesy of the New Mexico History Museum

Hosted by the New Mexico History Museum, Las Posadas is a re-enactment of the legendary journey of two exhausted travelers on their way to Bethlehem. Visitors are invited to join the candle-lit procession following the young couple around the Plaza as they seek shelter for the night. At the conclusion, everyone comes together at the Palace of the Governors for cookies and cider before heading back to their own beds for the night. Don’t forget to wear warm clothing! This time honored event takes place on December 9, 2018 at 5:30 pm.


Santa Fe Artists in Residence

All winter long, artists create their masterpieces in our hotels and galleries. Get a first-hand look at their creative process and be sure to take a piece home with you!


GLOW

The brightest annual December event

Light up your holiday season with GLOW – Cosmic Nights! This annual event features thousands of twinkle lights and beautiful large scale light installations all aglow throughout the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. Enjoy live music, festive beverages, and meet Santa with the kiddos (12 and under get in free!). GLOW opens on December 14 and runs through December 31, 2018.


Santa Fe Winter Indian Market

(Photo courtesy of Terrance Clifford)

Do your holiday shopping with native artists, in a festive environment at a downtown Santa Fe landmark. The SWAIA Winter Indian Market is an annual holiday art show that will be held on December 15, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and December 16, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at La Fonda on the Plaza hotel. This year the Winter Indian Market includes 150 Native artists selling jewelry, pottery, paintings, weavings and much more; a fabulous silent auction; live music and dance round out the festivities.


Desert Chorale Winter Festival

The renowned choir presents a series of concerts, including carols and lullabies from South and Central America. Concerts take place December 15 – 23, 2018 at the United Church of Los Alamos, Immanuel Presbyterian Church of Albuquerque, Cristo Rey church, and the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.


A Baroque Christmas

For over 30 years Santa Fe Pro Musica has performed “A Baroque Christmas” which is a Santa Fe favorite during the holidays. The Santa Fe tradition returns to the beautiful Loretto Chapel and will have performances from December 19 through  December 24, 2018. Clara Rottsolk, soprano and Deborah Domanski, mezzo-soprano will be the featured vocalists.


Canyon Road Farolito Walk

One of Santa Fe’s most beloved December events, the Canyon Road Farolito Walk, lights up the hearts and souls of thousands who stroll the iconic road on Christmas Eve. While touring Christmas lights is a tradition everywhere, the experience is totally unique in Santa Fe. After all, how many towns commit hours of preparation to creating an awe-inspiring display for just one night? The annual walk leads you from the Santa Fe Plaza to the surrounding historic neighborhoods. This night is a truly magical and breathtaking experience you do not want to miss. The event takes place on December 24, 2018.


Christmas Eve at Picuris Pueblo

Embrace the region’s rich Native American culture at sundown on Christmas Eve with a torchlight Procession of the Virgin at Picuris. Learn more about the holiday season events at the Northern New Mexico Pueblos here.


New Year’s Eve on the Plaza

Santa Fe is set to ring in the new year on the Santa Fe Plaza! There will be live entertainment, and a digital media display will countdown to 2019. The Kiwanis Club of Santa Fe will provide hot chocolate and biscochitos, along with a memorial banner for all to write down their hopes and dreams for a Prospero Año Nuevo. Check out New Year’s Eve for more information.


Discover a December different when you spend the holidays in Santa Fe—they are truly filled with magic and good cheer here. Bring a friend or family, or just give yourself the unique gift of a Santa Fe holiday that’ll be a heartfelt memory. Make your December getaway even more special by checking out our Deals and Specials.

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Legal Tender in Lamy Under New Ownership

 

 

Entrepreneur Allan Affeldt, who acquired the La Castañeda hotel in Las Vegas, N.M., last year, has taken on another Northern New Mexico restoration project, this one in Lamy.

 

Affeldt, through a nonprofit he created in Arizona, acquired the historic Legal Tender restaurant and saloon building from the Lamy Railroad & History Museum, he confirmed Friday. The museum itself, located in the same building, and a Pullman dining car across the street were part of the transaction.

 

“There is no bar like that in Santa Fe or Lamy,” Affeldt said. “It could be a really nice attraction.” No money changed hands in the deal.

 

The transaction, which closed July 13, simply involved the Lamy museum board dissolving and transferring its assets to Affeldt’s nonprofit Winslow Arts Trust, he said.

 

The Legal Tender, built in 1881, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places and donated to the nonprofit railroad museum in 2006, according to the museum’s website. A distinguishing feature is an oaken bar imported from Germany and installed in 1884, according to the site.

 

The property, renamed the Legal Tender in 1970, was a nightspot popular with servicemen in transit along the Atchison, Topeka and Sante Fe Railway during World War II. It was called the Pink Garter in those days, according to Affeldt and museum officials. Sam Latkin, treasurer of the Lamy museum, said Affeldt’s acquisition of the property signals a new, potentially successful chapter in its history. The restaurant and saloon, and the dining car that housed a cafe, went through a series of contracted operators before closing about two years ago.

 

The museum board had contacted Affeldt about taking over the property, Latkin said. He called the deal “a miracle.”“We found somebody that is really good at preserving history and buildings and things,” Latkin said. “He knows how to do it, and he’s capable.”

 

Michael Gintert, who operated a cafe in the Pullman dining car for five years, also said he was pleased with the deal.“We’re all excited,” Gintert said. “Now that Allan is taking over, he’s coming in with a lot more resources and has plans for it.”

 

A complaint to the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office alleging artworks and antiques have gone missing at the Lamy museum is still pending, an agency spokesman said Friday. Latkin said the claim, filed in January 2017 by Tom Hyland of Lamy, is without merit.

 

Prior to acquiring the hotel in Las Vegas, Affeldt had restored La Posada in Winslow, Ariz., an 80,000-square-foot historic hotel. Built in the 1930s, La Posada today is a favorite subject for travel writers and has been featured in Sunset magazine and the New York Times.

 

Both properties were part of the Fred Harvey Co. chain, which operated hotels along the Santa Fe Railway. La Posada, like La Fonda on the Plaza in Santa Fe, also a former Harvey House, was designed by Harvey architect Mary Colter.

The $5 million renovation of La Castañeda is ahead of schedule, Affeldt said. One wing may open in October and the remainder of the hotel in summer 2019.Another Harvey hotel, El Ortiz, once stood in Lamy.

 

Affeldt hopes to revive interest in the Legal Tender with the owner of the Santa Fe Southern Railway, which operated a tourist excursion line between Santa Fe and Lamy until 2013.

 

Santa Fe Southern owner Karl Ziebarth of Dallas could not be reached Friday afternoon for comment on whether the railroad would restore the excursion service.

 

The bar and restaurant used to benefit from the railway tourist traffic, Latkin said. “At different times, they used to bring people out for lunch and sometimes for dinner,” he said. “We’re not associated [with the railroad], but we sometimes worked together.”

 

In the meantime, Affeldt is soliciting offers from prospective restaurateurs interested in running the bar and restaurant, he said. The kitchen and dining room are in good shape, he added, and there is a card room, too.

 

“The building is in pretty good condition,” Affeldt said. “The saloon is the most beautiful in all of New Mexico.”

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Such a Santa Fe Story…

Such a Santa Fe Story…

Busker hits sour note with police after locking piano to park bench

  • By Daniel J. Chacón | The New Mexican
  • Updated 

Stephanie Chavez first noticed the abandoned piano in Cathedral Park when she got to work Monday morning. Covered with a stained canvas dropcloth and chained to a park bench, it was painfully obvious this was no Steinway. “I don’t know what the story is,” Chavez, who works in a jewelry store across the street, said Friday.

It’s not a story so much as it is an only-in-Santa Fe tale.

 

The piano is at the center of a dispute between its owner and the Santa Fe Police Department, though the discord appeared to have been amicably settled late Friday with a handshake — and the issuance of a citation.

 

Left in the downtown park on a rickety, homemade dolly with chipped green paint and sagging tires taken from a wheelbarrow, the piano belongs to busker David Vigil, a local musician who also is an artist with a studio on Canyon Road. Though the instrument is somewhat mobile, Vigil had been leaving the piano behind overnight — first on the Plaza and later at nearby Cathedral Park. Vigil, 64, said moving the piano back and forth is difficult, so he figured he could lock it up much like people lock up their bicycles.

 

When police told him not to leave it on the Plaza, he did so, assuming stashing it at the less-traveled Cathedral Park would be OK. So, Vigil secured the piano to a park bench with a bicycle lock. “I know it’s at my own risk, but I don’t think anyone is going to steal a piano because it weighs so much,” he said.

 

True enough, perhaps, but police recently installed a lock of their own. “We warned him a couple of times before that he could not do that,” police spokesman Greg Gurulé said.

 

“It’s considered defacing city property,” Gurulé said. “He continued to do it and so we wanted to cite him. He didn’t come around to be cited, so we locked it in hopes of getting that citation into his hands a little better.”

 

The maneuver worked.

 

Officer Joshua McDermott, who says he’s known around downtown as “Officer Smiley,” cited Vigil for wrongful use of public property. “What’s my fine?” Vigil asked when the officer handed him the citation late Friday afternoon. “You’re actually going to go to court,” McDermott responded. “We’re actually going to talk in front of the judge and get it figured out.” “I’m just going to plead guilty,” Vigil said. “I want to make sure you have your time in court,” the officer responded. “I already know what she’s going to do,” Vigil said, referring to Municipal Court Judge Virginia Vigil. “The judge is going to recuse herself because she’s my sister.”

 

“Oh! There’s a twist!” the grinning officer said before proceeding to help Vigil push the piano across the street toward the Plaza. Along their route, both men posed for pictures. When McDermott wasn’t looking, Vigil playfully stuck his tongue out.

Vigil said he didn’t blame police for coming down on him, adding “they have to deal with a lot of (expletive).” “They’re just wonderful people — and I’m a great liar,” he said, jokingly. “I think they think they’re just doing their job.”

 

McDermott, often on the downtown beat, said police had received seven complaints about Vigil’s piano. “It’s a violation of the busker’s ordinance and it’s misuse of public property because the park benches are made for people to come sit,” McDermott explained.

 

Vigil, who also plays the guitar, said he bought the piano for $120 from a local family who, he said, had left it outside for years in their wood yard on Canyon Road.“I’ve been rebuilding it and restoring it,” he said of the piano, which has at least one or two keys that don’t work.

 

Plaza food vendor Roque Garcia said the police department should leave Vigil alone. “It’s a long ways to take it all the way to Canyon Road,” Garcia said. “They should let him. He’s not doing anything wrong. He’s a regular, born and raised here in Santa Fe.”

 

Vigil, who rolled the piano down to the Plaza from his studio on Canyon Road about a week ago, said he’ll try to find private property in the downtown area to store the piano. Ideally, he said, he would want a golf cart to pull it back and forth.

 

“I’ll figure something out,” he said. “Santa Fe is a big small town.”

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Downtown Santa Fe for 205K!

Downtown Santa Fe for 205K!

Lovely El Matador Condo

Lovely El Matador Condo

Delightful and charming downtown Santa Fe, NM condo in El Matador. Great investment property with easy rental potential. Ground level steps from covered parking with two enclosed extra storage closets just for this unit. Plaster walls, nichos, new range, microwave and refrigerator. New countertops in kitchen and bath. New bath vanity. Large covered front portal with multiple seating areas and a new sun shade. BRAND NEW stack washer and dryer. Gorgeous courtyards and common areas. HOA covers roof, stucco, furnace and snow removal. Gated community. Minutes to the Santa Fe Plaza, shops and dining.

 

 

 

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Santa Fe Wins a National Geographic Award

Santa Fe Wins a National Geographic Award

Santa Fe is getting recognized by a company that knows a pretty city when it sees one. National Geographic crowned Santa Fe a World Legacy Awards winner.

Santa Fe won the Sense of Place category. That category measured authenticity, support to protect historical monuments, archaeological sites and maintaining other culture and tradition. Santa Fe beat out Awamaki, Peru and Adventure Canada, Canada for this category.

“National Geographic stands for exploration, conservation and stellar storytelling. World Legacy Awards celebrate the people, places and experiences that exemplify our mission in the global travel industry,” said National Geographic Travel editor-in-chief George Stone in a statement.

Stone said the recipients represented the future of travel and are leaders in sustainability.

Tourism of Santa Fe Executive Director Randy Randall said, “ This is an incredible international honor for Santa Fe to be singled out as number one in ‘Sense of Place.’ It is a testament to what makes Santa Fe so special and truly The City Different.”

The awards aim to highlight sustainable and global tourism around the world. The awards are presented by National Geographic and ITB Berlin. There were more than 100 entries from 45 countries across six continents. The 15 finalists were evaluated by 26 judges and underwent an onsite inspection. The awards come as the United Nations declared 2017 “The International Year of Sustainable Tourism Development.”

“Our cultural diversity, our careful preservation of history and our authentic offerings have allowed us to be recognized on a world stage as the only recipient from the United States in this years National Geographic Legacy Awards,” said Randall.

This isn’t the first time Santa Fe has been recognized by National Geographic. It has been named on the Best Adventure Towns and of The Best High Altitude Cities.

In the most recent report done by the New Mexico Tourism Department, direct visitor spending in 2014 saw an all-time high at $6.08 billion.

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11 Best Day Trips in New Mexico

11 Best Day Trips in New Mexico

The 11 Very Best Day Trips You Can Possibly Take In New Mexico

Due to New Mexico’s size, it’s challenging to leave the state for a day trip, unless you live next to the border. But that’s okay. There are plenty of amazing destinations just waiting to be discovered in the Land of Enchantment. To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best day trips you can take in New Mexico.

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