Today, it's known as "The Biggest Show in New Mexico."
The New Mexico State Fair in Albuquerque was an immensely popular hit from the outset when it opened in 1881.
The first fair (which opened before New Mexico was even an official state!) ran a total of five days which attracted huge crowds
despite the gloom of rainy weather. Business
owners knew knew an opportunity when they saw one, and invested heavily.
Crowd pleasing trapeze artists and other daredevil acts like parachute jumpers
who jumped from hot air balloons -- and even a pool-diving mule -- eventually earned the fair a reputation as being one of the greatest entertainment events in the Southwest.
2021 New Mexico State Fair
This year, the New Mexico State Fair is an 11-day event that kicks off on Thursday, September 9 and runs until Sunday, September 19, 2021.
Entertainment, of course, is still a big draw along with artisans, performers,
and food vendors showcasing the state's rich Spanish and Native American heritage and culture.
Not to be outdone by rivals, the New Mexico State Fair also follows an All-American venue featuring livestock shows and exhibits, as well as old-fashioned cooking and gardening competitions.
2021 concert lineup and rodeo shows
The New Mexico State Fair concert lineup has in the past included such star headliners as Josh Turner, Randy Travis, Tanya Tucker, and many others.
This year, the full 2021 concert and entertainment schedule was announced over the summer with individual tickets going on sale in late July.
Thursday, Sept. 9
11:00 AM NM Special Needs Orchestra
1:45 PM Reverend E & The Vagrants
3:30 PM Scarsblue
6:00 PM Grant & Randy Two Man Band
6:30 PM Black Heart Saints
Headliners at the 2021 New Mexico State Fair include
Savannah Rae and Adam Hooks & The Huckleberries.
Friday, Sept. 10
4:00 PM No Chaser
9:00 PM Ryan Painter & The Resistors
Saturday, Sept. 11
2:30 PM Kyle Reid
4:00 PM Rigby Summer
9:00 PM Austin Van, Ryan Painter & The Resistors
Sunday, Sept. 12
2:00 PM Rigby Summer & Kyle Reid
4:00 PM Cody Zane Wells Band
9:00 PM The Sarah Rowe Band
Monday, Sept. 13
4:00 PM Adam Hooks & The Huckleberries
Tuesday, Sept. 14
4:00 PM The Band N Co
9:00 PM Nathaniel Krantz
Wednesday, Sept. 15
4:00 PM No Chaser
9:00 PM No Chaser
Friday, Sept. 17
4:00 PM Savannah Rae
9:00 PM Anthony Torrez & The Regulators
Saturday, Sept. 18
4:00 PM Brian Marshall 33RPM
9:00 PM Brian Marshall 33RPM
Sunday, Sept. 19
3:30 PM Natajja
6:00 PM John Matthew
For more information about concert tickets, see the official site online or at Ticketmaster outlets. Early purchase of tickets includes gate admission to the Fair.
General admission prices usually run about $7 for adults (that means age 13 and older.) Special discounts are available for kids and seniors. Children under 5 get in free. Additional fees are charged for carnival rides with special discounts for parties of 25 or more.
Another great New Mexico State Fair tradition? Rodeo and bronco riding extravaganzas, and mariachi music (as well as local ethnic bands) usually round out the attractions that offer family-friendly fun for anyone traveling through New Mexico at summer's end.
DID YOU KNOW? New Mexico State Fair fun facts
Step right up to see the Aqua Mules.
• Because so many students were skipping school to attend the Fair, Albuquerque schools closed for a week-long vacation during the Fair in 1906.
• In 1964, the New Mexico State Fair became the first state fair in the country to have an exhibit solely devoted to Native American art & culture.
• In 1985, the first-ever tornado in Albuquerque's history touched down near the fairgrounds and immediately afterward vendors began offering T-shirts reading: "I survived the Albuquerque tornado".
• The Fair hosted high-diving "Aqua Mules" for a number of years when public protests ended the controversial show in 1991..
• Today, the New Mexico State Fair is usually ranked as among the Top Five state fairs in the nation in terms of attendance and attractions.
New Mexico State Fair photos
The big parade - plus food, local arts and crafts, and kid-friendly attractions are all a part of the fun.
More about the New Mexico State Fair around the Web:
Mexico State Fair - Check out the official site with information on admission and ticket prices, fair highlights, entertainment line up, and events including food concessions, kid-friendly attractions, directions, map, photos.