San Felipe Old Town Albuquerque Fiestas

By: John Sais

Have you ever been to the San Felipe Old Town Albuquerque Fiestas? The Old Town Fiestas is a traditional 3-day event that takes place every year in June at the Old Town Plaza. The Fiestas is a feast day for the church’s patron saint, Saint Philip. Residents of Old Town participate in the event to give back to the community of Old Town. Even their ancestors did the same. The Fiestas has been around for almost 100 years.

According to NMPBS, Albuquerque was founded on April 23, 1706 by Spanish Conquistador Francisco Cuervo y Valdes along with 12 families from Bernalillo and they formed a “Villa” to what was then known as “La Villa de Alburquerque.” Later the extra “r” was dropped which is now spelled today as Albuquerque. When Spain controlled New Mexico beginning in the late 1500s there were requirements that had to follow in order to form a new city. There needed to be a church, a plaza, a place of government, and a few families who are willing to form a new city. The original San Felipe de Neri Church was built in 1706 on the west side of the Old Town Plaza where the current Basket Shop still stands today. The original church was called San Francisco Xavier Church in honor of the Duke of Alburquerque. But, on a rainy day in 1792, the original church collapsed because the adobe of the church turned into mud. Adobe was the main source to build houses and other buildings during the Spanish Colonial Period. But in 1793 the current church that still stands today was rebuilt at the north side of the plaza and it was renamed as San Felipe de Neri Church in honor of King Philip of Spain. For more information go to the Albuquerque Historical Society

According to Albuquerque Tricentennial, in 1880 the railroad arrived in Albuquerque just two miles away from the Old Town Plaza. That’s when Albuquerque was expanding East and there was a “New Town” which today it’s Downtown Albuquerque. Albuquerque started to receive goods from the East coast of the United States and people started to use other materials to build Victorian style houses and other architecture instead of Adobe houses.

The San Felipe Old Town Albuquerque Fiestas will begin on Friday, June 7 at 6:00PM-10:00pm. On Saturday, June 8 it will begin at 12:00 PM-10:00 PM. The last day will be on Sunday, June 9 from 12:00PM-7:00PM. There will be music, live entertainment, even carnival rides to enjoy. There are fees for food and rides. Parking is very difficult in Old Town. We recommend showing up early for the event before parking gets full. There is parking at the parking lot between Central Avenue and Romero Street and a parking lot behind Casa de Armijo. Payment for parking may be necessary. Come to the Old Town Fiestas. It’s has been a long established tradition in Old Town. Bring your family and enjoy the summer and get the feel of the fiestas. For more information about the fiestas go to the San Felipe Church website or call the San Felipe de Neri Church at 505-243-4628 or call the City of Albuquerque Citizen contact center by dialing 311. Any donations for the fiestas are appreciated and can be taken to the parish office. Enjoy the San Felipe de Neri Old Town Albuquerque Fiestas.

Albuquerque Summer Reading Program

By: Bloom Welliver

As the new season rolls around and and school is coming to an end, many are finishing their school books. The Albuquerque Libraries have set up a summer reading program for kids around New Mexico. Reading is a very important and useful skill to acquire and practice. Many believe it helps with the “summer slide,” as per The Colorado Department of Education, “‘Summer slide’ is the tendency for students, especially those from low-income families, to lose some of the achievement gains they made during the previous school year.” They believe that reading over the summer greatly helps counteract the impacts of the summer slide.

Summer reading programs are highly used across the U.S. They are considered to be greatly beneficial to kids and teens who are currently in school. Summertime reading has really helped out many people with their personal goals and keeping them on track for the next school year. Reading widens your vocabulary and helps with personal motivation and concentration skills. According to the American Library Association, “Summer reading programs began in the 1890s as a way to encourage school children, particularly those in urban areas and not needed for farm work, to read during their summer vacation, use the library and develop the habit of reading.”

The summer reading program in Albuquerque is centered around students reading what they enjoy and having fun while reading. Many adults believe that smartphones and other modern technology is raising a generation of screen-obsessed zombies with little to no attention spans. Reading is supposed to help with concentration so many feel that summer reading helps in that way. “Reading helps concentration and the summer reading program helps promote reading” says Anastasia Smith, an active participant in the summer reading program community.

The summer reading program is a helpful tool for counteracting the summer slide. The program helps with many useful and important skills needed for education going forward. Some of these include concentration, reading skills, and broadening vocabulary skills.