Fall in New Mexico is magical. Leaves begin to change, and the sound of churning chile roasters brings smiles to faces as the smell warms the souls locals and visitors. Hot air balloons rise to the occasion and dot the morning sky with their uniquely colorful “good morning” message.
If you are anywhere near Corrales on Saturday and Sunday, September 30/October 1, be sure to attend the Corrales Harvest Festival (CHF), described on the event’s website as “a beautiful fall weekend full of activities.”
Harvest Festival weekend kicks off with the annual Pet Parade on Saturday morning at 9:00 am. Four-legged participants and their people start showing up around 8:00 am at the vacant lot across from the fire station. This year’s theme is Dia de los Muertos. The Pet Parade is organized by Corrales’ Animal Control Officers Catherine “Cat” Garcia and Bryah Lattin-Montaño, and proceeds go to the Village’s Animal Control Unit to fund needs not covered by the Village.
According to CHF Chair Tony Messec, the festival is the best family entertainment value in the Albuquerque metro area year after year. “We’re trying to appeal to families, especially those with young children, as our new admissions pricing clearly shows: a wristband that gives you all day access is $10 for adults (anyone 13 and older) and free for anyone 12 and under.” The wristband allows transport to all attractions via Corrales Not-so-Rapid Transit: the tractor-pulled hay wagons, an annual CHF tradition. Admission to the Historic Old San Ysidro Church, and Casa San Ysidro, both of which have many interesting exhibits for children and adults, is also included.
Parking is also free. According to Kim Stewart, Admissions Area Co-coordinator, a number of generous Corrales residents and businesses have given permission to use their parking lots and vacant fields for parking. “We have terrific volunteers directing traffic and they can let people know where to park,” Stewart said. “People don’t have to park on Corrales Road. We now have around 2 dozen walkie-talkies, and when a lot is full we pass that info along to the traffic directors.”
Among others attractions, kids will find a mechanical bull, a climbing wall (on Sunday), bounce houses, and a caricature artist at the Corrales Elementary School. Other activities will be provided by the Corrales Elementary PTA.
The CHF Art Show is a tradition going back at least 20 years that features local and nearby artists and craftspeople. You will find it at La Entrada Park (the Library park) after the Pet Parade concludes on Saturday until 5 pm, and 9 am – 5 pm on Sunday. The Friends of Corrales Library also hosts a book sale during the same hours.
Proceeds from the CHF provide grants to worthy organizations through the Kiwanis Club of Corrales Foundation (KCCF). According to Joe Abella, KCCF president, when the Kiwanis Club agreed to take on the CHF, it was agreed that first and foremost it would be a community service activity. “It raises funds, but it’s not a fundraiser,” Arbella said. “If we need to spend money to make it a better event, that’s what we do, even if we won’t recoup the expense.”
It really takes a village to put on the CHF. According to Sandy Rasmussen, Volunteer Area Coordinator, “We have to fill close to 500 four-hour volunteer shifts to put on the CHF. We couldn’t do it without a massive amount of support from a lot of people. It requires a lot of generous, big-hearted people.”
Purchase tickets online prior to the event, or at the following Corrales businesses:
- Frontier Mart
- Village Mercantile
- Corrales Growers Market
- Frame n Art