By Adriana Avila, Senior Reporter | Graphics provided By cabq.gov
Gather family and friends and enjoy the dog days of summer at the twelfth annual Summerfest event in Nob Hill on Central Avenue from July 19 to 21.
Tierna Unruh-Enos, marketing manager for the city’s cultural services department, said there are four Summerfest events around Albuquerque. Each of the events is free and has concerts as well as family activities. This year’s theme for the events is ‘taking it to the streets.’
“This year our theme for the Summerfest is street parties, so that’s what we’ll be doing with all of them, except for the one that’s on Civic Plaza. We shut down streets and then we set up a street party essentially,” Unruh-Enos said.
Summerfest was created to entertain the community and give people something to look forward to during the summer, Unruh-Enos said.
“We have food trucks and different things for kids’ activities and stuff. But it’s really to get more people to stay in Albuquerque and have something for people to do.
“It is a free service that this department provides to give back to the community and the department works really hard, especially in the summertime to provide all of the events. There are definitely things to do here in Albuquerque,” Unruh-Enos said.
This year’s first Summerfest kicked off in the heights on June 15, which was the first time it was held in the heights, with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy as the headliner. The Route 66 event, on Central Avenue, takes place July 19 through July 21, and is the biggest of the four Summerfest events, Unruh-Enos said.
“The one in Nob Hill is the Route 66 Summerfest which is the biggest Summerfest and it’s been going on for quite a while. We block off a mile of Nob Hill and we usually get about 35,000 people there so it’s pretty big. It’s probably the same size as Albuquerque’s Twinkle Light Parade, between 30,000 to 35,000 people,” Unruh-Enos said.
The main attractions at the nob hill event will take place on Saturday July 20. The July 19 Friday event is a concert and VIP Reception featuring the Yellowjackets at the Highland Theater at 8 p.m. Nob Hill Jazz Brunches begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday July 21 at several restaurants that include Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro, Zacatecas Tacos & Tequila, O’Neil’s Irish Pub and Scalo Northern Italian Grill, according to the Summerfest event program.
Headlining the Route 66 event in Nob Hill Saturday July 20 is Red Baraat, a Bhangra Funk Dohl ‘n’ Brass band from New York City.
One of the biggest attractions of the Route 66 Summerfest in Nob Hill is the Old Route 66 Car show, which will be from 1 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and will feature over 100 custom and classic cars.
Immediately following the car show, the Twelfth Annual Neon Cruise will parade down Central Avenue, according to the Summerfest event program.
The Route 66 Summerfest will have three stages; the main stage will be located on Girard Boulevard and Central Avenue, and east stage will be at Washington Street and Central Avenue. The Cork and Tap stage will be located in between Montclaire Drive and Sierra Drive, and will be home of the Food Truck Rumble, where Albuquerque’s best street food vendors compete for the overall winner. Local beer, wine and spirits will also be available.
The Kid Zone will have a rock wall, face painting and inflatable fun jumpers from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wellesley Drive and Tulane Drive, and there will also be an artisans market on Saturday as well from Bryn Mawr Drive to Dartmouth Drive.
Before splitting off into different events, Summerfest used to be held Downtown at the Civic Plaza but about two years ago the city decided to spread the events throughout Albuquerque to serve different parts of the community, Unruh-Enos said.
Summerfest has two other events planned this year; one at the Civic Plaza Downtown on August 3 that will be headlined by Ozomatli, a Latin hip-hop and rock group from Los Angeles, and the Westside event, located behind the Cottonwood Mall, is on August 24 and will have Better than Ezra, an alternative rock band from New Orleans, as the headliner, she said.
“We take them to different parts of the city because they help spur economic development,so we’re serving everyone in the city, not just having them in one place,” Unruh-Enos said.
For more information about the Summerfest events go to rt66central.com/rt66summerfest.html.