February

Raise a joyful noise. Sip superior wines. Score sweet restaurant deals. Go on a chocolate quest. Find your favorite fossil. Put on your beads and laissez les bons temps rouler.

Above: Restaurant Martín in Santa Fe offers special desserts during Restaurant Week.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: COURTESY RESTAURANT MARTIN

A MOVABLE FEAST

February 1–5, the 30th annual Taos Winter Wine Festival tempts attendees with seminars, dinners, a grand tasting right on the mountain, and a champagne brunch at the luxe El Monte Sagrado resort. Enjoy yummy eats from 12 local restaurants, delicious sips from 36 national wineries, and lots of wine talk. (505) 946-8506; taoswinterwinefest.com

Consider the wine fest a mere amuse-bouche to the return of our beloved Restaurant Weeks in Santa Fe (February 19–26), Taos (February 26–March 5), and Albuquerque (March 5–12). From down-home diners to the faw-faw-fanciest joints, dozens of eateries offer four tiers of mouthwatering deals, along with special events. (505) 847-3333; nmrestaurantweek.com

GSD Frankbuffalohyde

Above: Artist Frank Buffalo Hyde in his Santa Fe studio.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: KATE RUSSELL

HYDE IN PLAIN SIGHT

A self-proclaimed “Native American mutt,” Frank Buffalo Hyde has won accolades for his pop-art send-ups of stereotypical Native themes. Starting February 3 (through January 7, 2018), he’s the star of a new exhibition at the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture in Santa Fe, I-Witness Culture: Frank Buffalo Hyde. (See our profile of Hyde, nmmag.us/inhisSkin.) (505) 476-1269; indianartsandculture.org

HEAD FOR THE HILLS

El Niño, La Niña, or something in between, New Mexico ski areas plan to show you a good time in February. Red River boasts a torchlight parade and fireworks on February 11. Sipapu’s free Fun Fest, February 18–20, includes a giant snow castle, a costume contest, a parade, treasure hunts, games, and prizes. Find other family-friendly events at skinewmexico.com.

Angel Fire’s third annual Military Winterfest consumes the slopes—and the skies—February 9–13. Kids will like the Snow Dog Show, the Juggling Sheriff, and the snowman contest, among other larks. Veteran-centric activities include a Military Family Expo, Vet2Vet ski lessons, and Dana Bowman’s signature American Flag Jump—a skydive with a precision landing. It’s amazing, in part, because Bowman does it on two artificial legs. (He lost his in an accident while training with the U.S. Army’s Golden Knights parachute team.) Registration starts at $25 (free to disabled vets), with proceeds benefiting local veterans’ programs. (800) 633-7463; nmmag.us/MilitaryFest

PRAISE TO THE SKIES

The sixth annual New Mexico Black History Festival culminates on February 26 with the joyful sounds of an American Idol–style gospel competition. Competitors seek a $1,000 prize in this audience-participation tourney at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Details about this and other activities are at nmblackhistorymonth.com. Elsewhere, the star-studded African Guitar Summit spreads its bluesy, bouncy, pan-African sound. (Sample it at nmmag.us/afguitar.)

• Marshall Auditorium, Clovis, February 21 (575-769-4115; calendar.clovis.edu)
• Rio Grande Theatre, Las Cruces, February 23 (575-523-6403; riograndetheatre.com)
• Macey Center, Socorro, February 24 (575-835-5688; nmtpas.org)
• WNMU Fine Arts Center Theatre, Silver City, February 25 (575-538-2505; mimbresarts.org)
• James A. Little Theatre, Santa Fe, February 28 (505-476-6429; holdmyticket.com)

CUCKOO FOR CACAO

On February 11, Silver City’s 18th annual Chocolate Fantasia sends chocoholics scrambling to more than 30 downtown shops, restaurants, and galleries in search of their favorite artisanal offerings under a dress-up-and-decorate Wild West theme. For $25, buckaroos can choose from among 20 rootin’-tootin’ tastings of the handmade chocolates, which means either (a) tragic indecision ahead; or (b) buy two tickets. “That’s becoming a trend,” spokeswoman Melody Collins says. “The chocolatiers really go over the top, and the sidewalks are just jammed with people.” Only 500 tickets are sold, though, so buy ahead. (575) 538-2505; chocolatefantasia.org

GAME OF THROATS

They’re young, multi-culti, handsome as can be, and adept at injecting operatic stylings into pop music. The Forte Tenors trio was created solely to appear on America’s Got Talent, finished fourth, and signed a Columbia Records deal right there in the wings. Their first single, a suitably gothic interpretation of the Game of Thrones theme song, went viral, and now the group is, too. In a good way. After hitting venues like Carnegie Hall and the White House, they’ll command the stage at Hobbs’ Tydings Auditorium on February 11. (575) 738-1041; swsymphony.org/schedule.php

ROCK IT, MAN

Jaw-dropping gems from all across the globe land at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum in Las Cruces, February 18–19, during Museum Rocks! The fund-raiser for the museum draws more than 75 dealers in enough turquoise, fossils, and gemstones to open a chain of jewelry stores. Organizer Staci Mays says that, beyond an annual tumble of rockhounds, the event lures jewelry artists intent on scoring one-of-a-kind stunners. Should you happen to spy an especially appealing piece of, say, lapis lazuli, a vendor will be there to turn it into a necklace or pair of earrings while you wait. Experts offer talks and hands-on opportunities both days—kids are especially welcome. (575) 522-1232; lcmuseumrocks.com

FOR TOMORROW WE DIET

Ski all day and revel all night, the Mardi Gras way, in Red River and Cloudcroft. The celebrations precede Lenten deprivations and include live music (lots of live music), Cajun food, Krewe parades, kids’ activities, and a chance to drape yourself in strings of colorful beads—that you don’t have to earn the old-fashioned way. Red River’s Mardi Gras in the Mountains (see our 2016 coverage, nmmag.us/RRmardigras) takes place February 23–28 (575-754-2366; redriver.org/events). Cloudcroft’s Mardi Gras in the Clouds runs February 24–26 (575-682-2733; coolcloudcroft.com/mardigras). “Costumes are big,” advises Red River organizer Madelyn Loftin. “Pack your masks, beads, all of that—and your skis. You’ll want to ski in the morning.” Powdered by beignets, no doubt.

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