Ruidoso Festivals and Annual Events

Ruidoso hosts many exciting festivals and annual events. Everything from the Wind Rider Music Festival to the Art Loop to  AspenFest to Cowboy Symposium to the Festival of Lights! Check out our events calendar for more things to do throughout the year.


Ski Apache Adaptive Sports

Ski Apache Adaptive Sports Benefit

Saturday, January 30 from 6pm-9pm — There will be a silent and live auction and cash bar to raise funds for the Ski Apache Adaptive Sports program.  The Ruidoso Community has always supported this important fundraising event so come out and feel good about buying cool stuff.   SAAS is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to teaching people with cognitive and physical disabilities to ski and snowboard.  SAAS gratefully relies on the support of Ski Apache Ski Resort, fundraisers, and volunteers to host approximately 200 students each year.  The program turns no one away due to type or extent of disability or financial constraints.  Students and their families come from throughout the country as well as from regional and local schools, disabled veterans groups, and development centers.


savor the flavor

Savor the Flavor

Wednesday, February 10 from 6pm-10pm — Featuring chefs of Lincoln County. Only 100 tickets being sold for Savor the Flavor on Wednesday, February 10th. This dinner and silent auction proceeds to benefit HEAL and the Nest Domestic Violence Shelter. Come dine and enjoy wine for a worthy cause!


ski apache opening dayLast Month of the Season at Ski Apache

Ski Apache is southern New Mexico’s premier ski resort.  Enjoy over 750 acres of terrain and more than 50 runs for every skill level.  The mountain is a perfect place for kids and adults to learn to ski.  The mountain also boasts Apache Bowl and other more advanced runs for seasoned skiers and snowboarders. For the last month of the season don’t forget to head up the mountain to create your end of season tracks. Other events being held include Apache Quest, Big Mountain Challenge, Apache Star Races, Pond Skimming & Beach Bod Contest and the Shamrock Relay.

Mountain Living Home & Garden Show

March 19-20, 2016 — The Mountain Living Home & Garden Show, held at the Ruidoso Convention Center, attendees will enjoy gourmet specialties, antiques, newest appliances, spas, flooring, windows and window treatments. There will also be cookware demonstrations, seminars, and ideas to update indoors and out.


Enjoy Ruidoso’s Entertainment Venues

eventsBefore the summer season gets into full swing (aka the calm before the storm) don’t forget to check what is happening at Ruidoso’s premiere entertainment venues: Inn of the Mountain Gods and Spencer Theater. Whether it is some boot stomping music, laugh out loud comedy, guitars on fire or a live musical these venues always offer plenty of good times for all ages. In April check out the Laugh Out Loud Comedy at the Inn of the Mountain Gods or Papa Doo Run Run at the Spencer Theater.


smokey bearSmokey Bear Days

May 6-7, 2016 –– Smokey Bear Days started in 2004 to celebrate Smokey’s 60th birthday, Smokey Bear Days has become an annual 2-day event held the first Friday and Saturday of May. The Smokey Bear Days’ mission is to promote the fire prevention message and educate visitors to the Capitan area about the dangers of unwanted, human-caused wildfires.

AspenCash Motorcycle Rally

May 19-22, 2016 — Held at the Inn of the Mountain Gods come enjoy the shaded pines of the Sacramento mountains. The Aspencash Motorcyle Rally is an AMA Signature Series event that features a $10,000 poker run and a 4 day trade show with 33,000 square feet of vendors. Downs Race Track Season

May 27, 2016 – September 5, 2016 — Enjoy the Race Track from Memorial Day through Labor Day! The Ruidoso Downs weekly racing schedule is Friday through Monday with a 1 pm first post time. There will be Thursday races over the 4th of July holiday. Learn more about this event!


mercadoMercado Del Artisan Outdoor Fair at River Rendezvous

June 2016 – October 2016 (Final dates TBD) —  Enjoy live music and wonderful fine art, including gourd art, pottery, mosaics, jewelry, metal art, photography, and much more! 10 am to 6:30 pm. 524 Sudderth Dr.



wind riderWind Rider Music Festival

Saturday, June 11, 2016 from 11am-5pm — Get amped for the 2nd Annual Wind Rider Music Festival at Ski Apache. In addition to live music, the one-day festival will also feature food and beverage booths and vendors. Overnight camping will also be available for the nights of June 10 and 11, as well as RV spaces. Those interested can pick up a camping passes at the ticket window (Campsites $10, RV Site $20, free parking). Fire restrictions will be in effect. Children 5 and under are free with a paying adult. Campsites are $10 per tent in each site.



Smokey Bear Stampede 1001854_595548433800146_1232802803_n

July 2-5, 2016  —  Eight rodeos in four days! The nation’s largest open rodeo weekend includes four nightly rodeos, two-day ranch rodeo, youth ranch rodeo, kid’s rough stock rodeo, cook-off, kids events, and nightly dances. On July 4th, enjoy a full day of Independence celebration with a campfire dutch oven competition, mutton bustin’, steer riding, evening rodeo, fireworks, and a dance. You don’t want to miss this 4th of July celebration!


mescalero apache tribeMescalero Apache Ceremonial Dances and Rodeo

July  1-4, 2016  —  Attend this annual event to witness the coming of age ceremony of Mescalero Apache maidens. There will be ceremonial dances, a rodeo, arts and crafts, and food vendors as part of the festivities held at the Mescalero Apache reservation over July 4th holiday.




artloopLincoln County Art Loop Studio Tour

July 1-3, 2016  —  In its 21st year, Art Loop began as a creative venture amongst artists and continues to be one of the most successful studio tours in New Mexico. Visit over 20 Lincoln County artists’ studios during the annual Art Loop and meet over 30 artists. Watch them demonstrate their craft and discuss their creative process.


bridge tournamentChristmas in July Bridge Tournament 

July 2016 (Final dates TBD) —  Enjoy a bridge tournament in the mountains of New Mexico. Sessions are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, 9 am, 1 pm , and 7 pm, and Sunday, 10 am and TBA.


Fort Stanton Live! 

July 9, 2016 from 9am-8pm  —  An annual event 2-0B7V0636 (1280x692)that brings costumed re-enactors from the Civil War and Indian Wars era to the Fort for demonstrations, presentations, a concert and a military ball. This event also brings authors, historians, photographers, artists, and a variety of historical vendors to share their crafts and handiwork. Local food vendors will also be on hand at the Fort.


art festivalRuidoso Art Festival 

July 29-31, 2016  —  Over 100 of the nation’s most talented artists will be set up at the Ruidoso Convention Center showcasing a broad spectrum of mediums including sculpture, photography, glass, paintings, ceramics, jewelry, mixed media and more! The annual festival will be held July 29 and 30 noon-6 pm, and July 31,  10 am-5 pm.




Alto Artists Studios Tour

August 5-7, 2016  — This year the Alto Artists’ Studio Tour is celebrating its 13th anniversary and the public is invited to participate in free, self-guided tours to explore behind the scenes of the Alto art community.


Old Lincoln Days 1207311747442756-billy

August 5-7, 2016  —  Enjoy a weekend of folk pageants with re-enactors portraying Billy the Kid’s last escape and the notorious Lincoln County War. As well as the pageants, enjoy great food, live music, shopping and a parade. Admission is $6 for adults and $2 for children.


Ruidoso Antique Show

August 2016 (final dates TBD)  —  The Ruidoso Antique Show has some of the best choice antiques, collectibles, and decorative arts selected and presented by many outstanding antique dealers from all over the United States. At this show you can find everything from Tin to Tiffany and all the in-between. Large mission furniture to small early American and European, sterling flatware to Native American and early American artifacts. Primitives, mercantile, pottery, rugs, Indian and vintage costume jewelry; fine porcelains and linens to decorative arts and estate jewelry offered by a certified gemologist and appraiser. You don’t want to miss this antique show!


Annual Golden Aspen Motorcycle Rally 

September 14-18, 2016 — The Golden Aspen Rally will feature live music, stunt rider, $10,000 poker run, vendors, trade show, bike judging, free meals, and a NEW bike giveaway — a weekend a bike lover won’t want to miss!

bicycle ruidoso10th Annual Tour de Ruidoso Century Ride

September 24, 2016 — Once again, the annual Tour de Ruidoso is offering athletic challenges. The event will start and finish at the majestic Spencer Theater.  All event options will have the same starting time, and take the same route as prior years, minus the difficult Swiss Chalet hill.


All American Gun and Western Collectible Show

September 2016 (final dates TBD) — As part of the All American Festival, the Gun and Western Collectible show is one of a series of events and festivities surrounding the $2 million All American Futurity. This show has 180 tables of everything that relates to guns as well as hunting equipment, knives, cowboy gear, saddles, blankets, spurs, western relics, Indian artifacts, jewelry, coins and so much more. As well as buying items you may also trade with vendors or sell your guns or collectibles in exchange. This show is not just a “man’s” show; women can find jewelry, western collectibles and décor for the home.


_5867547858Kite Festival

September 2016 (final dates TBD)  —  Enjoy a picnic while watching the different shapes, sizes and colors of kites take to the Ruidoso skies. Kids of all ages watch pro kite fliers, fly their own kites, travel through the “Time Tunnel,” and see “Ollie the Octopus” fly. Food and drink are available.




October 2016 (final dates TBD) — Rod Run and Car Show, Arts and Crafts Fair, Parade! Aspenfest kicks off with a parade through Midtown Ruidoso, followed by an arts and crafts fair, a rod run and car show and the New Mexico State Open Chili Cook-Off. Also don’t forget about the Aspenfest golf tournament on Sunday at the beautiful Links at Sierra Blanca golf course.

New Mexico State Open Chili Cook-off

October 2016 (final dates TBD) — During Aspenfest weekend enjoy some of the best chili around at the Open Chili Cook-off. The chili cook-off is open for public tasting beginning at noon.

Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium images (12)

October 7-9, 2016  —  Take part in the nation’s finest cowboy festival at the annual Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium! Enjoy Old West storytellers, noted historians, poets, musicians, chuckwagon cooks, western artists and craftsmen for three days of events, cowboy competitions, horse demonstrations, Western swing dancing, kids rodeo and educational activities. Also during the symposium don’t miss the World Champion Chuckwagon Competition, featured on the Food Network’s All American Festivals and Cowboy Challenge.

new_oktoberfest_logo35th Annual Ruidoso Oktoberfest

October 2016 (final dates TBD)  —  Based on the German Oktoberfest, Ruidoso celebrates with great food, beer, music, arts and crafts and a kinderhall. “Dressing for the occasion” is encouraged! Tickets: Adults $10.00 for One Day or $18.00 for Two Days. Young Adults 13 – 18 $6.00 for One Day $10.00 for Two Days. Children under 12 FREE



Christmas Jubilee EventPhotoFull_christmas jubilee

November 2016 (final dates TBD)  —  Get a head start on your holiday shopping at Christmas jubilee! 80 local merchants make it a one-stop shop for all your gifts. Bring the kids to meet Santa and enjoy storytelling while you shop until you drop!


fol-logoParade of Lights

December 2016 (final dates TBD) —  Beautifully lit and fantastically festive, the Festival of Lights-Parade of Lights starts at 5:30pm from the corner of Sudderth/Mechem, through dowdown to the Chamber of Commerce. Everyone is encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots. So, bring out the family for an evening of twinkling lights, hot chocolate and togetherness in the Winter Wonderland of Ruidoso.

Torch Light Parade ski apache torch light parade

December 2016 (final dates TBD) —  Join the fun on Capitan Trail to witness veteran skiers and their lighted torches ski down the mountain starting at 6:30 pm, with beautiful fireworks to follow. Listen to the Apache Drum Group play traditional ancient Apache tribal music on the plaza. Free admission and snacks and refreshments available or enjoy hot food at the Main Lodge and adult beverage specials in the Spirit Bar upstairs!