Mountain Mail reports
Ever since its beginnings in 2003 the end of summer community event – SocorroFest - has been a celebration of music, art, food, drink and so much more. From old time country to gypsy jazz, some Spanish rock and belly dancing thrown in, there will be music, music, music all day and into the night, Friday and Saturday, October 8-9 on the Plaza.
“If you haven’t been to Socorro lately, you’re in for a surprise,” said Deborah Dean, director of the City’s tourism office in a press release. “SocorroFest is a delightful opportunity for the city and its people to showcase their talents and skills both to visitors, and neighbors. The city in the center of the Rio Grande Valley has a diverse and historical culture, and we want folks to know about it.”
SocorroFest, sponsored by the City of Socorro and a host of volunteers, features native food dishes, arts and crafts booths, an array of fun family activities, a harmonica contest, and a talented lineup of musical entertainment.
According to Secretary of the New Mexico Tourism Department, Michael Cerletti, “local festivals are diverse in New Mexico, but all share a celebration of family heritage. SocorroFest gives all of us the opportunity to be a part of small-town New Mexico in a big way. I encourage all New Mexicans and their visitors to accept Socorro’s invitation to fun.”
Plaza events include musical entertainment on three stages, including the main venue in the gazebo, plus a host of games for kids, vendors offering a variety of wares from eats and treats to arts and crafts, and a Star Lab show—a view of the skies—at the church next to the Visitor and Heritage Center on Fisher.
Local musicians performing include Roon, contemporary folk, featuring Ronna Kalish and John E. Dean; Jen Exten, jazz, folk, and blues; Last Minute Bluegrass; and Francie Deters and John Weber, jazz favorites. Also, Steve Thompson and Jim Ruff, who lend their talents to more than just one band.
On Friday, Oct. 8, Grammy winning ZydecoCajun musician, Terrance Simien and the Zydeco Experience, will kick off the weekend’s festivities at 6 p.m. at the Plaza. Terrance Simien will also headline Saturday’s performances at 8 p.m. Simien has become one of the most respected and internationally recognized touring and recording artists in roots music over the past 25 years.
Remedy, one of Socorro’s hottest and longest running variety bands, will close out Friday evening at 8 p.m. with dance music.
Saturday kicks off at noon, with Et Alia belly dance troupe, followed by several Socorro folk, bluegrass and variety bands. Featured musicians include Asper Kourt, voted Albuquerque’s 2009 Best Local Band Headed for Stardom; and also Le Chat Lunatique, voted “Best Jazz Act” by the “Weekly Alibi.”
A full lineup of local and regional musicians will take to the stages of the Capitol Bar, the historic gazebo, and in front of City Hall beginning at noon Saturday and playing into the night.
Harmonica players can compete for cash prizes starting at 2 p.m. in front of City Hall, followed by Socorro’s Blue Monday jamming with the winners.
Blue Monday features Socorro’s own harmonica virtuoso, Bobbie Olguin. Bobbie also gained fame as the winner of the Bobby Flay Throw Down for the Buckhorn Tavern’s green chile cheeseburger, in San Antonio last year.
The “Spirits Tent” will have offerings from Socorro Springs Brewing Company, a three-time winner of the Telluride Blues and Brews Festival’s “Best of the Fest,” among several New Mexico microbreweries and wineries.