This article is a part of the 2024 Spring Travel Guide, a sponsored collection brought to you by our travel advertising partners. You can find more spring travel destinations and events here.

During Santa Fe’s spring and summer, the city awakens with an array of colors, scents, and sounds, inviting exploration and enchantment at every turn. The season begins in May, as the wide-stretching high desert landscape welcomes the inaugural Santa Fe Indigenous Fashion Week May 2nd through 5th with open arms. Against the backdrop of adobe walls and turquoise skies, indigenous designers from across Native North America come to showcase their creations, mixing traditional craftsmanship with contemporary flair. The runway becomes a stage where vibrant colors dance in harmony with intricate beadwork and flowing fabrics, evoking a sense of pride and reverence for indigenous cultures.  

In mid-May, the Santa Fe International Literary Festival comes to The City Different from May 17th through 19th. Renowned authors and aspiring wordsmiths come to town to share their stories and insights bringing with them a diverse collection of human experiences. From poetry readings under the shade of trees to panel discussions exploring the intersections of culture and creativity, the Literary Festival offers a feast for the mind and soul. This event inspires visitors to dive deeper into the written word and find solace in the power of storytelling. Esteemed authors such as Anthony Doerr, Pulitzer-winning author of All the Light We Cannot See, Kai Bird, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the Oppenheimer biography, Jesmyn Ward, Julia Alvarez, and Douglas Preston are among those slated to grace the event with their presence. It is sure to send visitors back into the world with new inspiration and appreciation for fresh thoughts and ideas.

Santa Fe International Literary Festival Photo by Tira Howard Photography

As the summer sun casts its golden glow over the city, Santa Fe bursts into full bloom with events marking significant milestones and celebrating cherished traditions. The International Folk Art Market, now in its 20th year, transforms the Santa Fe Railyard into a bustling bazaar, where master artisans from every corner of the globe gather to showcase their craftsmanship. Amidst the bustling crowds and vibrant colors, the air is alive with the sound of folk music and the aroma of spices. From hand-woven textiles to intricately carved woodwork, each creation tells a story of cultural heritage and human ingenuity, inviting visitors to embark on a journey of discovery across continents and centuries.

International Folk Art Market

As the summer days stretch out, the Santa Fe Opera takes center stage, offering enchanting performances against the backdrop of majestic mountains in its unique open-air theater. Beneath a canopy of stars, voices soar and hearts swell with emotion, as timeless tales unfold against the backdrop of nature’s beauty. The Santa Fe Opera season runs from June 28th until August 4th. During this time there are many different productions to attend including La Traviata June 28 – August 24, The Righteous, which debuts its World Premiere running from July 13 – August 13 and The Elixir of Love July 27 – August 22 as well as many others. From classic operas to contemporary masterpieces, each performance is a symphony of sight and sound.

Crosby Theatre

Throughout the summer months, Santa Fe’s calendar continues to showcase the city’s rich heritage and artistry. The Traditional Spanish Market held July 27th through 28th as well as the Santa Fe Indian Market held August 17th through 18th offer a feast for the senses, with rows of colorful stalls brimming with handmade jewelry, pottery, and textiles. Each piece is a testament to the skill and creativity of its maker, embodying the spirit of generations past and present.

Traditional Spanish Market

Then, August 31, Labor Day weekend, Santa Fe pays homage to tradition with the 100th anniversary of the Burning of Zozobra. Zozobra, or Old Man Gloom, is an enormous marionette that is the physical representation of all the negative energy that humans put out into the world. The embodiment of gloom. As dusk falls over Fort Marcy Park, crowds gather beneath the flickering glow of paper lanterns, eagerly awaiting the arrival of Old Man Gloom. The towering sculpture is then set ablaze symbolizing the release of worries and woes.

In Santa Fe, spring and summer are not just seasons but testaments to the city’s timeless traditions. Where every moment is a celebration, every corner a canvas for creativity, and every event a showcase of culture. Each experience unveils a unique piece of the city’s soul. As visitors immerse themselves in the sights, sounds, and flavors that define The City Different, they are reminded of the enduring beauty of the centuries old city.

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