Major Cities: Santa Fe, Taos, Los Alamos

Origin/Influence: Pueblo Indians, Spanish and American-

Featured Artist: Macy Dorf (Santa Fe)- Potter:


The Thirsty Ear Festival

Thirsty Ear Festival – What started as a small but hearty band of roots-music lovers getting together for a couple of nights of performances in 1999 has turned into a weekend event filled with bands from all over the country and revelers from all over the world. The get together is cast in the finest traditions of grass roots festivals; it started very small, has steadily grown in popularity, has increased the quality and quantity of its musical offerings, retains a loyal following, and gets better every year.

The Festival is held at the Eaves Movie Ranch, just outside Santa Fe. The movie ranch is like walking into a 19th century western town and has been the setting for numerous motion pictures. In addition to three days of internationally acclaimed roots music on three stages all weekend long, the festival offers camping, tasty BBQ, local microbrews, fine wine, and crafts. Face painting, arts & crafts, puppet shows and other kids’ activities will be hosted by the Santa Fe Children’s Museum and Pink Elephant Theater.

New Mexico’s premier roots music festival also features three stages of folk, blues, Cajun, zydeco, roots rock, bluegrass & alt-country artists.

The Thristy Ear Festival
P.O. Box 29600
Santa Fe, NM 87592
Phone (505) 473-5723

Folktale:La Fonda Holtel Ghosts:

The historic La Fonda Hotel sits on the corner of East Water and San Francisco Streets, in the historic district of Santa Fe. This old hotel has been a rest stop for weary travelers since 1922, but the location itself has been home to some kind of inn or “fonda” since Santa Fe’s earliest days. When Santa Fe was founded in 1607, records show that an inn on this location was one of the first business established in the new settlement. According to local lore, court was held in the original adobe hotel, as well as executions—guilty offenders were hanged in the lobby.

Over the years, the hotel was destroyed and re-built several times over. In 1821, when Captain William Becknell blazed the path of what would become known as the Santa Fe Trail, he stayed at a la fonda where the trail terminated at Santa Fe’s central plaza. As more and more pioneers traveled the Santa Fe Trail, the La Fonda became a popular destination for trappers, traders, mountain men, solders, politicians and the like. Soon after New Mexico became a U.S. Territory in 1848, the inn was purchased by Anglo-American owners who changed its name to the U.S. Hotel. The inn’s gambling hall was a major gathering place, providing entertainment for military officers and the occasional professional gambler. Fortunes were made and lost here, and one unfortunate person lost his life in 1857, at the end of a rope strung up in the hotel’s backyard by a lynch mob.

Ten years later, in 1867, the Honorable John P. Slough, Chief Justice of the Territorial Supreme Court, was shot to death in the hotel lobby. Slough was in a dispute with Captain Rynerson, a member of the Territorial Legislature representing Dona Ana County, when Slough called Rynerson a liar and a thief. The offended Rynerson then shot Slough, who died of his wounds. Though Rynerson was tried, he was later acquitted.

Around this same time, the hotel was sold again and became The Exchange Hotel, the name under which it operated for nearly six decades. Sometime during this period several tunnels were constructed underneath the hotel that lead to the courthouse. The current La Fonda was built in 1922, on the site of the previous inns. In 1925, it was acquired by the Atchison, Topeka Santa Fe Railroad which leased it to Fred Harvey. For more than 40 years, from 1926 to 1968, La Fonda was one of the famous Harvey Houses, a renowned chain of fine hotels.

Today, the La Fonda Hotel is said to host not only travelers visiting Santa Fe, but also several ghosts. Some people believe that the Honorable Judge Slough continues to walk its hallways. However, more often reported, is the ghost of the distraught salesman who jumped into the well after losing all of his company’s money. The hotel’s dining room, called the La Plazuela, is situated directly over the old well and both guests and staff alike have reported the sight of a ghostly figure that walks to the center of the room, then seemingly jumps into the floor and disappears.

Another story tells of a distraught salesman who lost his company’s money in a card game and jumped to his death down a deep well located just outside the gambling hall of the Exchange Hotel.

Other reported phenomena includes an apparition that haunts the Santa Fe Room, as well as a spirit that walks the hallways near the La Terraza, a restaurant located on the east side of the hotel’s third floor floor.

In the 1970s, a guest reportedly called the front desk to complain that someone was walking up and down the hallway in front of his room. When an employee was sent to investigate, he saw a tall man in a long, black coat disappear into a stairwell. However, when he followed him to the stairs, there was no sign of the mysterious visitor.

Performing Arts:

Santa Fe Opera

Every July and August since 1957, opera lovers have been drawn to the magnificent northern New Mexico mountains to enjoy productions by one of America’s premier summer opera festivals. Here, The Santa Fe Opera’s dramatic adobe theater blends harmoniously with the high desert landscape. It is this fusion of nature and art that leaves such an enduring impression on all who come. More than half the audience of 85,000 comes from outside New Mexico representing every state in the union as well as Canada and Europe.

The Santa Fe Opera has taken its place among the world’s leading opera festivals. Its mission is to present productions meeting the highest artistic standards in a repertory of new, rarely performed, and standard works. Nearly more than 1,600 performances of more than 130 operas have been given here, including nine world premieres and more than 40 American premieres, among them Lulu, The Cunning Little Vixen, Capriccio, and Daphne. Recent premieres include the world premiere of Madame Mao, commissioned from Bright Sheng, in 2003, the premiere of the revised version of Osvaldo Golijov’s Ainadamar, in 2005, the American premiere of Thomas Ades’s The Tempest, in 2006, and the American premiere of Tan Dun’s Tea: A Mirror of Soul in 2007.

Casts are drawn from the world’s most talented young singers, and production teams of conductors, directors, and designers are international as well. It is a source of considerable pride that many singers whose names are now found on the rosters of the world’s leading opera houses began their careers in Santa Fe.

The Santa Fe Opera has a wide array of education and community outreach programs to make opera accessible and appealing to a broad spectrum of the New Mexico population. One, the unique Pueblo Opera Program, serves Native American youth from nineteen pueblos and three reservations in the state. The theater itself features ‘Opera Titles’ –- a small screen in front of every seat, which allows patrons to follow the stage action in either English or Spanish. The Santa Fe Opera has become one of New Mexico’s cultural and economic leaders. Its reputation attracts thousands of tourists to the area each year, and provides employment and income both directly and indirectly

The Santa Fe Oprea

PO Box 2408
Santa Fe, NM 87504
Phone (505) 986-5955

Jobs/Economy: Tourism, Government, Agriculture/Low and High Incomes

Democratic Political Preference: 25% Clinton, 75% Obama