‘A special JOY ’
One more day to enjoy mix of cultures, fried food and more at NM State Fair
The state of New Mexico boasts a unique mix of cultures, industries and ways of life.
Nearly all of them were proudly on display at this year’s New Mexico State Fair, which wraps up today.
From a lowrider show to a “Dairy Discovery Zone” to a “green-chile-on-everything” policy for many of the fair’s food options, this State Fair is certainly its own.
In some cases, this mixing of cultures has led to a deeper understanding and appreciation of the cultures of others. Take the Keims.
The seven-member family from Placitas is mostly of German descent, said Dana Keim.
On Saturday afternoon, Dana, her husband, Robert, and their children — Dominic, 11, Gemma, 8, Bernadette, 6, Isidore, 4 and Josemaria, 5 months — could be found onstage at the Villa Hispana area of the fair.
Robert, Dominic, Gemma and Bernadette, blond-haired and blue-eyed, performed about 45 minutes of traditional Mexican dances with Los Niños de Santa Fe dance company.
“It’s really inclusive,” said Dana, watching the performance (and keeping an eye on her two youngest). “All my kids are totally comfortable there.”
The whole family has become interested in Mexican and Spanish cultures; Robert recently
returned from a trip to Spain.
“It’s one of those cultures that’s still so alive,” she said. “There’s such a special joy in doing this.”
It certainly appears joyful; all the children involved in the production had bright, toothy smiles.
At the nearby Indian Village, the fair’s designated “Native American Day” was being celebrated with pottery and Navajo rug weaving demonstrations, tribal dances and the New Mexico State Fair Pow Wow.
Apart from being a vibrant display of the New Mexican cultural melting pot, the fair is also known for serving up a variety of delicious, greasy, fried foods.
Eleven-year-old Noah Lujan of Albuquerque sat by himself at a table with a pile of ribbon fries about as big as his head Saturday afternoon.
He tilted his head back happily and slowly lowered each ribbon into his open mouth.
Asked what his favorite part of the fair was, Noah answered with two words: “The food.”
From left, Danya Narlesky, 6, and Gemma Keim, 8, watch from the wings of the stage as other dancers in Los Niños de Santa Fe y Compania perform at Villa Hispana at the New Mexico Stat e Fair on Saturd ay.
Hayden Mallak, 5, tries his hand at milking Bella — the mechanical cow in the Discovery Dairy Zone at the State Fair.
Noah Lujan of Albuquerque enjoys his food from the State Fair on Saturday.