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Fall Festival Family Favorites

Ohs, ahs and giggles galore

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Taos’ cool fall weather brings with it some of the coolest events for kids of all ages. (Yes, we’re looking at you, too, big-kid adults.)

The Paseo

Sept. 13-14, 7-11 p.m.

One of the most highly anticipated and coolest experiences of them all is The Paseo and once again it’s happening on the downtown streets of Taos bringing to town national and international.

5th Annual Fall Harvest Festival

Sept. 28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Bring your own bags (or get one from Los Amigos del Rancho Los Luceros for a donation) and pick apples from the Los Luceros Historic Property orchard (as available; crop not guaranteed), enjoy fall on the beautiful estate, tour the historic buildings, watch old-time sheep shearing, peruse food and wares from local vendors, and enjoy music and other performances. A great family fall getaway.

In a state blessed with numerous cultural gems, the 148-acre Los Luceros ranch located north of Española along the Río Grande near the village of Alcalde is special. The centerpiece of the ranch complex is a 5,700 square-foot, 18th century territorial-style adobe home which was renovated by the Cabot Foundation in 2004 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The property also includes a visitor’s center, director’s residence and a small gallery. In addition to the hacienda and the visitor center complex, the property contains three residences, an 18th century chapel, the original village jail, numerous farm buildings, apple orchards, irrigated pasture and forest on the Río Grande.

Los Luceros Historic Property is located off State Road 68 on County Road 48 in Alcalde, New Mexico.

For more information visit nmhistoricsites.org/los-luceros or call (505) 476-1130.

36th Annual Taos Wool Festival

Oct. 5-6, (Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m./Sun. 9 a.m.-4 p.m.)

On any given day, driving around Taos and its environs, spotting a few sheep grazing in a random, fenced backyard is not unusual. The off-white, rotund, coarsely curled critters almost look more like pets than agricultural property. Sheep are not a major source of income for most Northern New Mexico ranchers anymore. But during the turn of the 19th century in the colony of Taos, for some families sheep herding was a lucrative financial venture in a place that had limited economic avenues. Today, sheep herding provides an agricultural history of Taos through Spanish, Mexican and American history. Added to the modern mix are llama and alpaca ranches. One could say that the cottage wool industry is vibrant in Northern New Mexico. And nowhere better to see the animals, the shearers and the creations by wool artisans than during the annual Taos Wool Festival.

The popular part festival, part arts and crafts fair known as the Taos Wool Festival returns for its 36th year at Kit Carson Park.

Fans of the Wool Festival come for supplies, tools, conversation and finished goods. Children come for the funny sheep faces, fuzzy angora rabbits and curious alpaca looks, the spinning wheels, the shearing demonstrations and the hands-on activities. Other demonstrations include spinning, dyeing and many other fiber-related skills.

The festival is an outstanding regional wool market featuring juried vendors and master weavers displaying their wool fiber, yarns and artistic creations. There are contests for hand-spun yarn, fleeces (wool and alpaca), finished garments and home accessories.

There is no shortage of treats, either, as food vendors serve up regional lamb and other delicious choices.

With the added ambience of live music provided by regional musicians in a range of genres, the festival is unique and fun for the whole family.

No admission fee. Leashed, well-behaved pets welcome. taoswoolfestival.org

20th Annual SOMOS Storytelling Festival

Oct. 11-12

No matter one's age, hearing the words, "Once upon a time" invites wonder and anticipation of what story is about to be told. Older than written words, spoken word can be traced back for centuries and is grounded in the oral customs of many cultures around the world. Spoken word keeps memories alive, passes down stories for generations, educates, enlightens and entertains.

Welcome to storytelling, an art form that fills your mind, body and heart. Society of the Muse of the Southwest (SOMOS) created this annual event to provide just this kind of outlet and entertainment.

The annual two-day spoken word features engaging stories woven and delivered by nationally acclaimed tellers, a StorySLAM, StorySWAP, workshops and children's stories staged at the SOMOS Salon Space and Taos Community Auditorium (TCA). This year’s theme is “water.”

Featured storytellers include Antonio Rocha, Olicia Romo and Taos' treasured word and whitewater rafting master Cisco Guevara. The event is hosted by James Navé, one of the pioneers of the spoken word movement. Some of Taos' finest tellers will compete in a StorySLAM with the event's theme. Other special events include a youth-centered storytelling workshop facilitated by Navé, “Hidden Gems” workshop led by Rocha, a story swap hosted by Nash Jones and a Grand Finale Show.

Tickets are available at the door. Many of the events are free. Partial proceeds help fund the SOMOS Young Writer's Program. For more information, visit taosstorytellingfestival.com.

The storytellers

Antonio Rocha

A native of Brazil, Rocha (pronounced Haw-sha) is an award-winning storyteller whose unique fusion of spoken word and mime has been on stage around the world. He is sure to tickle your funny bone a please your soul with his tenor voice, realistic sound effects and mesmerizing moves.

Olicia Romo

An employee of the New Mexico Acequia Association, Romo tells stories that primarily center on the history and plight of natural resources. Through her job she travels around the state working with farmers and ranchers from which she gleans many of the characters and cultural references she tells stories about.

Francisco CiscoGuevara

Local favorite and natural storyteller Francisco “Cisco” Guevara has performed in past several festivals, will also grace the TCA stage. He is an experienced Río Grande whitewater rafting guide and regales his adventurous passengers with stories of the wild. He also gets his tales from his Hispanic and Indian heritage and has a profound historical understanding of New Mexico.

James Navé

James Navé is not only a prolific storyteller, but is also the director of The Taos Storytelling Festival and a cofounder of Poetry Alive!, a theater company which has performed poetry in front of more than 10 million K-12 students around the world.

Tickets can be purchased at the door to all events or bought in advance for the Saturday night show at the TCA, 133 Paseo del Pueblo Norte. Call the TCA to reserve your tickets at (575) 758-2052. Email Festival Director James Navé for more information or call/text him at (919) 949-2113.

At a glance 2019 Taos Storytelling Festival schedule:

Friday, Oct. 11

SOMOS StorySLAM

7-9 p.m.

An invitational StorySLAM featuring 10 storytellers vying for a chance to appear on the TCA main stage for the Grand Finale show. Time limit is 6 minutes. Held at SOMOS Salon Space, 108-B Civic Plaza Drive, Taos. Admission $10, free for students 18 and under.

Saturday, Oct. 12

Youth Storytelling Workshop facilitated by James Navé

10 a.m.-noon

For kids of all ages, this storytelling workshop will introduce young people to the basics of storytelling. In this workshop, young folks will be working with the playful idea that everyone, no matter what age, has an endless galley of compelling stories to tell. Each participant will have a safe opportunity to develop a story that will hopefully be the beginning of many stories they will tell to their family, friends and community. Free admission.

Storytelling Workshop

12:30-3:15 p.m.

“Hidden Gems,” facilitated by Antonio Rocha

Transitions — the  moments in a story where we shift between one thought and the next — are  hidden gems tucked away in a story well told. Whether you are your family’s unofficial historian or a professional teller, learning to master these moments will give your stories extra polish and finesse. This workshop will teach you how to identify and develop the transitions within your stories by practicing techniques with voice and body language. Held at SOMOS Salon Space,  108B Civic Plaza Drive. Admission $25 for SOMOS members; $35 non-members. Limit 25 participants. Call SOMOS at (575) 758-0081.  

SOMOS StorySWAP 

3:30-5:30 p.m.

Hosted by Nash Jones

A perfect venue in which to give your story a public test drive. Sign up is at 3:30 p.m., begins at 3:45 p.m. The time limit is 6 minutes per storyteller. All styles are welcome. SOMOS Salon Space, 108B Civic Plaza Drive, Taos. Free admission.

Grand Finale Show

7-9 p.m.

The Taos Storytelling Festival’s big stage show at the Taos Community Auditorium caps off this special and unique event. Join host and festival Director James Navé, Rocha, Romero, Guevara and the StorySLAM winner for an evening of tales you'll not soon forget. The TCA is located at 133 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, Taos. Admission $20. Reserve now. Call the TCA at (575) 758-2052.

37th Annual Taos Mountain Balloon Rally

Oct. 25-27

Get up close and personal with the silent floaters of the sky.

Fall in Taos isn't just about art and music festivals and nature's beautiful preparation for hibernation — it's also a time when the round, wicker-basket holding colorful hot air balloons rise en mass to meet the clouds. Over the weekend, a spectacle of balloons lift off the ground and effortlessly float over the orange, amber and yellow leaves just as the sun rises casting a new-day glow onto Pueblo Peak (aka Taos Mountain).

Smaller than many such events in larger cities, the Taos Mountain Balloon Rally typically hosts 35-50 balloons and crew each year. Albuquerque may have a bigger balloon rally but in Taos, our event is more intimate with more room to walk around the field and more opportunities to talk with pilots. It has become a popular stop for balloonists, families and crews from all over. The event is very popular with Taoseños, as well — especially the tether rides for kids.

The launch site is conveniently located at Weimer Field on Albright Street across from The Taos News office and behind the Taos County Administrative/Judicial Complex. All events are weather permitting. No admission fee.

For more information, go online to taosballoonrally.com or call (575) 758-9210.

At a glance Taos Mountain Balloon Rally schedule:

Friday, Oct. 25

8 a.m.
Mini-ascension

8:15 a.m.
Tether rides for schoolchildren

5-9 p.m.
Pilot/Sponsor/Lodging Gathering at Hotel Don Fernando de Taos

Saturday, Oct. 26
7:30 a.m.
Dawn Patrol

7:45-9 a.m.
Mass ascension

Dusk
​Balloomenshine, Trunk or Treat (kids are encouraged to dress in their favorite Halloween costumes and walk around the balloons collecting candy) and raffle drawing

Sunday, Oct. 27
7:30 a.m.
Dawn Patrol

7:45-9 a.m.
Mass ascension

11:30 a.m.
Closing ceremonies

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