Santa Fe's reputation for embracing tradition while welcoming the new is well-embodied in El Rancho de las Golondrinas' Spring Festival and Children's Fair. The Spring Festival, an annual event since the 1970s, has maintained many of its original activities while also continually growing and evolving.
"We try to focus on traditional crafts and activities like food preparation and other things that a ranch would be doing in spring to prepare for the summer," El Rancho de las Golondrinas' Manager of Special Projects Amanda Crocker says. "But we've also added a whole Children's Festival component to it because we want to give the kids a good time at the beginning of the summer."
Many of the festival's events, including leading attendees in making tortillas, weaving and grinding corn, have been around from the beginning. Other events, including a puppet show and dollmaking for kids and chances to meet a live wolf contributed by Wild Spirit Wildlife Sanctuary or cute miniature horses, are newer.
One of the Spring Festival's longest-standing and most iconic traditions is numerous live sheep-shearing demonstrations, fun and interesting for kids and adults alike. And no one can accuse El Rancho de las Golondrinas of a lax commitment to the sheep who donate their wool, who are raised from baby lambs.
"Our weaving program is what we call a sheep to blanket program," Crocker says. "We raise the sheep from birth, shear the sheep and the wool gets carded, washed, spun and woven. People will see examples of beautiful blankets made with that wool throughout the ranch."
The Spring Festival also features two new museum exhibits. Treasures from the Collection is an exhibition of historical artifacts in El Rancho de las Golondrinas' collection, while Horses in the Southwest focuses on Spanish, Mexican and New Mexican equine traditions.
Spring Festival and Children's Fair
10 am-4 pm
Saturday and Sunday, June 4 and 5
El Rancho de las Golondrinas
334 Los Pinos Road