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Taos Ski Valley Free Torchlight Parade

They’re commemorating the birthday of Taos Ski Valley’s founder Ernie Blake with a free Taos Ski Valley Torchlight Parade and fireworks on Saturday March 24, 2012.  The action starts at 8 pm, but arrive early because traffic can be slow winding up the ski valley road, and you’ll need time to scope out your spot to watch!

This is a great free show with torchlight parade skiers descending down the mountain, followed by a fireworks display.  Kids love it! My own favorite place to watch is from the deck at the St Bernard Hotel, and I can attest to the comforting glow of their spiked hot chocolate. But you’ll get excellent views from Rhoda’s Deck or just about anywhere in the ski valley… unless you deliberately hide yourself behind a tree.


Sante Fe Harvest Festival Restaurant Discount Pass & Events

Santa Fe Harvest Festival runs now through November 23, 2011, and if you like food and cooking and you plan to spend time in the City Different over the next few weeks, you could score some savings and join in the events.

Santa Fe Harvest Festival is basically a Santa Fe restaurant promotion with a bunch of events and classes too. To take part you have to purchase a Santa Fe Harvest Festival pass at $35. That gives the pass holder discounts at about 40 Santa Fe restaurants, including 25% off entrees at The Pink Adobe, the Rio Chama restaurant, La Casa Sena, and the Red Sage Restaurant (in the Hilton Santa Fe Golf Resort & Spa at Buffalo Thunder), and 20% off food at Blue Corn Cafe, Galisteo Bistro, Ristra, and Plaza Cafe Southside.  Most discounts are ONLY for the pass holder, some are for two diners. See all the pass discounts at Santa Fe restaurants

The pass also provides free admission to *most* of the Santa Fe Harvest Festival culinary events and the cooking classes with chefs at their restaurants. Some cooking classes are specially for kids and families, which is kinda cool, although the events and classes admission are only for the pass holder, so you’d need one for each person attending. Pass holders also get 25% off Santa Fe School of Cooking events to November 23, plus they get discounts on Santa Fe hotels .

Now, I reckon you’d have to eat out a lot by November 23 to recoup the $35 and make some savings, or attend several of the events to make it worth your while.  But for foodies and cooks in the Santa Fe area, or if you’re visiting Santa Fe or live near enough to take advantage of the benefits, it’s a pretty good deal.

You can also buy a premium pass at $160, which gives you everything the $35 pass does, plus admission to a Grand Gourmet Food and Wine Expo, and the Best of the Fest Gala Dinner.

The Santa Fe Harvest Festival pass is available for purchase online at the link.


Try Hockey for Free Day: Taos & El Paso

Try Hockey for Free Day is a wonderful idea from USA Hockey, with the aim of introducing kids aged 4 – 9 years to youth hockey, through a bunch of free events on Saturday, November 5, 2011.  Unfortunately, the only Try Hockey for Free Day event in New Mexico at time of writing is in Taos, although readers south of Las Cruces might also be interested in the El Paso Try Hockey for Free event. You need to register in advance at these links for:

Maybe more locations will come on board by the weekend – check at the Hockey for Free Day website and plug in your zip code on the map.


Sugarite Canyon Halloween Trail: Free Family Event

The Sugarite Canyon Halloween Trail event takes place on the evening of Saturday October 22, 2011, at Sugarite Canyon State Park, Raton.

The free trail walk is for families with kids aged 4 to 10 years old, and it runs from 6 – 8 pm. the adventure unfolds through encounters with characters such as Black Bear and Mountain Lion. Kids receive refreshments, small activities to take home, and the educational event aims to help them learn how to stay safe around wildlife. In previous years the trail has been lined with pumpkins, although there’s no guarantee it’ll be the same this year.

While the event is free, advance registration is necessary on (575)445-5607. They also encourage a donation of $5 per family to Friends of Sugarite.

Sugarite Canyon is a New Mexico State Park.