Old and New Holiday Traditions: Farolito Walk and Las Posadas at Pecos National Historical Park

Join us this December for a two-night holiday event at Pecos National Historical Park. Together with the Friends of Pecos National Historical Park, St. Anthony’s Parish, and Western National Parks Association, the park will offer a Farolito Walk on Sunday, December 16th and Las Posadas festivities on Monday, December 17th.  Both events are free and all parking will be at the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Posse Grounds.  Shuttle transportation is provided.

Farolitos photoFarolito Walk

Sunday, December 16th

5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

In response to popular demand, this laid-back evening will offer visitors the opportunity to leisurely take in the magic and ambiance of more than 3500 farolitos. Enjoy the peace and quiet of a winter’s evening as you follow the illuminated 1-mile trail to the Spanish Mission Church and pueblo. Start your visit at the event tent that will be located outside the E.E. Fogelson Visitor Center.  There you will find refreshments, warming stations, and the trailhead. From 6:15 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. the Santa Fe Brass Quintet, a music ensemble of accomplished and dedicated musicians from around the Santa Fe area, will play traditional and contemporary Christmas music.

Las Posadas

Monday, December 17th

5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

This evening offers a more traditional Las Posadas experience.  Horse-drawn wagon rides will begin at 5:15 p.m.  The procession will begin at the remnants of the 18thcentury church and convento at 6:00 p.m. and wind down the trail to the visitor center with the group singing traditional hymns and holiday songs in both English and Spanish. More than 3,500 farolitos will illuminate the trail. Free hot beverages and biscochitos will be served at the event tent.

In Spanish, las posadas means “inns” or “shelters,” and represents the journey of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem and their search for shelter. St. Anthony’s Parish in Pecos carries on this northern New Mexico tradition every December. Pecos National Historical Park will be just one stop during this novena, or nine-day event.

Shuttle service will be more substantial this year to better accommodate the growing number of visitors attending this event. Free visitor parking will be located at the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Posse Rodeo Grounds, immediately south of the Village of Pecos, near mile-marker 5 on the west side of Hwy. 63. Limited handicapped parking will be available at the park visitor center. There will be free school bus shuttles to take visitors to and from the park visitor center and parking area. Gates to the parking area open at 4:30 p.m. and buses will begin taking visitors to both events immediately. The last visitor shuttle from the rodeo grounds to the park will leave at 7:00 p.m. There is no other parking available at Pecos National Historical Park.

Please note, these events are almost entirely outdoors; appropriate winter clothing and flashlights are highly recommended.

Annual Feast Day Celebration at Pecos Pueblo

Pecos National Historical Park will host the annual Feast Day celebration at Pecos Pueblo on Sunday, August 5th

Join in a time honored tradition as community members from the Pueblo of Jemez and

Pecos celebrate Feast Day mass inside the ruins of Our Lady of the Angels of Porciúncula (Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles de Porciúncula). 

Following the 9:30 a.m. mass, the Feast Day celebration continues with traditional dancers from the Pueblo of Jemez and fresh rolls from the horno.

Feast Day at Pecos Pueblo represents the fulfillment of a long-standing promise.  Before leaving Pecos Pueblo in 1838, the last inhabitants of Pecos Pueblo entrusted a special painting to St. Anthony’s Parish.  A symbol of the pueblo’s adoption of Christianity as another form of religion, this portrait depicts the patron saint bestowed upon the Mission of Pecos in the 1620s.  Every August, Pecos village fulfills its promise to perpetually honor the saint by celebrating a feast day mass in the remains of her final church.  

For more information contact Pecos NHP at (505) 757-7241 or visit www.nps.gov/peco. You will also find our listings on the New Mexico True website (newmexico.org) and Tourism Santa Fe (santafe.org). Please like us on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/PecosNHPnps or Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/pecos_nps).

Pecos NHP Offers Free Lecture Archaeology of Pecos: Myth, Mystery, and Cultural Continuity

Mission Trail - Marker 4b

Pecos National Historical Park Archaeologist Jeremy Moss will offer a presentation on the history of archaeology at the park, future avenues of research and the many cultural connections that bind modern Pueblo groups to Pecos Pueblo on Saturday, June 9th at 1:00 p.m. at the Vista Grande Public Library.

 For more than six hundred years, Pecos Pueblo served as a gateway community connecting the Great Plains and the Rio Grande Valley. The allure, mysteries, and myths of Pecos have fascinated archaeologists since Adolph Bandelier first recorded the site in 1881. The cultural connections to modern Pueblo groups makes it an interesting place to explore cultural continuity and to assess the legends and lore that first drew archaeologists to Pecos at the turn of the 20th century.

 Please note, this program will take place at the Vista Grande Public Library, which is located at 14 Avenida Torreon, Santa Fe, NM 87508.  Space is limited, so please arrive early.

 For more information about the park contact Pecos NHP at (505) 757-7241 or visit our website at www.nps.gov/peco. You will also find our listings on the New Mexico True website (newmexico.org) and Tourism Santa Fe (santafe.org). Please like on us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PecosNHPnps or Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/pecos_nps).

 

Night Photography Workshop of 2018 at Pecos National Historical Park

On May 19, the Friends of Pecos National Historical Park will be hosting the first Night Photography Workshop of 2018 at Pecos National Historical Park.  This event is being held in conjunction with an astronomy program hosted by the park.

The workshop will be led by nature photographer, Stan Ford, who served as the Artist-in-Residence at Pecos NHP in 2016.  The session will take place adjacent to the mission and will not include formal instruction.  Stan and Richard Gonzales will be available for assistance.  Photographers should know how to operate their camera in Manual mode and be able to do so in the dark.  Equipment should include a sturdy tripod and red headlamp or flashlight.  A wide-angle lens is recommended.
Space will be limited.  Participants will have approximately two hours, after dark, to shoot.  Anyone interested should contact the park’s visitors center – (505) 757-7241.
You can also fill out this simple form to get on the list. 

 

Trail Improvement Project at Pecos National Historical Park

Pecos mission trail marker 1 - City sightly and strong
Pecos mission trail marker 1 – City sightly and strong

On April 2, 2018, contractors will begin work on the rehabilitation of the Ruins Trail in the Main Unit of Pecos National Historical Park. The trail, which provides access to the ancestral pueblo sites and ruins of the iconic Spanish Mission church, was first installed in 1982.  The resurfacing of the trail will improve visitor safety, provide greater accessibility to those with mobility impairments, address a deferred maintenance backlog, and reduce future maintenance costs.  The entire project should be completed by the end of July 2018.

While some portion of the pueblo and mission church will always be available for viewing, there will be temporary closures along sections of the trail where the contractors are working. Since areas of the trail will close or open according to a shifting project schedule, visitors are requested to stop by the Visitor Center prior to beginning their walk to find out which sections of the trail are currently open.

For more information about the park in general, contact Pecos NHP at (505) 757-7241 or visit our website at www.nps.gov/peco. You will also find our listings on the New Mexico True website (newmexico.org) and Tourism Santa Fe (santafe.org). Please like on us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PecosNHPnps or Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/pecos_nps).

2018 Civil War Encampment – Schedule of Events

Pecos, NM The annual Civil War Encampment at Pecos National Historical Park will take place Saturday, March 24th from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  This free, family-friendly event will bring to life the experience of the Civil War in New Mexico.  Interact with living history participants, see black powder demonstrations, take a ride on a horse-drawn wagon, and hear speakers share their expertise on life during the Civil War in the West.  Children of all ages can make their own corn husk dolls, paint quilt squares, and play historical games.

2012 Reenactment at El Rancho de las Golondrinas
Photo credit: johnstonarchives.net

ManuelAntonioChaves1In honor of the 156th anniversary of the Battle of Glorieta Pass, the Friends of Pecos National Historical Park will also unveil a bronze plaque commemorating Lieutenant Colonel Manuel Chaves and the contingent of New Mexico volunteers who fought alongside Union regulars and Colorado volunteers in this decisive battle.  The bronze plaque will eventually be affixed to a new New Mexico Volunteers stone monument, which will be located in the Glorieta Unit of Pecos National Historical Park between the extant Texas Volunteer and Colorado Volunteer Monuments.

Please note, all events will take place at Pecos National Historical Park on the grounds of the Forked Lightning Ranch.  Detailed driving directions below.

Schedule of Events:

Black Powder Demonstration

10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

See, hear and experience the power of black powder weapons like rifles, cannon and muskets.

 Kids’ activities

10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Stop by the arts and crafts tent to try your hand at decorating a corn husk doll, painting quilt squares or testing your skill with Civil War era games. 

 Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides

10:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Travel back in time as you enjoy a free horse-drawn wagon ride around the grounds of the historic Forked Lightning Ranch.  The horse rides are a popular attraction, so be sure to arrive early!

Unveiling of Plaque Commemorating New Mexico Volunteers

11:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Friends of Pecos National Historical Park Vice President Andres Romero will present a brief overview of the contributions of the New Mexico Volunteers during the Battle of Glorieta Pass and the role of the Friends Group in securing a new monument honoring their key contributions in the war effort.

Lecture: “Civil War Era Medicine”

11:15 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Discover more about Civil War era medicine with Dr. Bob Mallin.  A Vietnam veteran, historian, and surgeon, Dr. Mallin offers a rare opportunity to see and learn more about the medical and surgical instruments that were used to treat battle wounds in the field.

Reception

12:15 p.m. -1:00 p.m.

Join the Friends of Pecos National Historical Park for light refreshments and the chance to see the newly minted bronze plaque commemorating the New Mexico Volunteers.

 

Lecture: “Civil War in the Southwest”

1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.

Civil War historian Dr. Alwyn Barr presents an overview of the 1862 New Mexico campaign and the conflicts along the Texas coast and lower Rio Grande border with Mexico.  Dr. Barr is an American historian who specializes in African American studies, the American South, the American Civil War, and Reconstruction.   He is a professor emeritus and former chairman of the history department at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.

2012 Reenactment at El Rancho de las Golondrinas
Credit: Johnstonarchive.net

Black Powder Demonstration

2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

See, hear and experience the power of black powder weapons like rifles, cannon and muskets.

All events are free and open to the public.  Please be sure to check in at the information tent upon arrival to confirm event locations and times.

For more information about the park in general, contact Pecos NHP at (505) 757-7241 or visit our website at www.nps.gov/peco. You will also find our listings on the New Mexico True website (newmexico.org) and Tourism Santa Fe (santafe.org). Please like on us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PecosNHPnps or follow us on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/pecos_nps).

To reach the grounds of the Civil War Encampment: From I-25 N: Take the Pecos/Glorieta Exit, #299. Left onto overpass, right onto Route 50; proceed on Route 50 for eight miles. At the village of Pecos, take a right at the four-way stop onto Route 63. In 2.6 miles, the entrance to the encampment field will be on your left. Follow the dirt road east for 0.6 miles to the parking area.  From I-25 S: Take the Rowe Exit, #307. Follow signs. From Highway 63, follow the road for 3 miles.  The entrance to the encampment grounds will be on your right. Follow the dirt road east for 0.6 miles to the parking area.

 

Park Offers Forked Lightning Ranch Open House

Don’t miss your chance to visit one of northern New Mexico’s most iconic locations—the Forked Lightning Ranch.  On Saturday, February 24th, Pecos National Historical Park will open up the Ranch House from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for visitors to explore at their leisure.  The Forked Lightning Ranch, which overlooks a wild stretch of the Pecos River, is steeped in history.  Once home to such notable personalities as rodeo promoter Tex Austin and Hollywood actress Greer Garson, the ranch house transports you back to the formative years of dude ranching in the Southwest.  Rangers and volunteers will be on site to help answer questions and to orient visitors to this architectural gem.

 Please note, space is limited to a total of 30 vehicles.  Access to the ranch is down a 1.5 mile dirt road.  For safety reasons, parking reservations are required. For more information and to make reservations, contact Pecos NHP at (505) 757-7241.

For more information about the park in general, contact Pecos NHP at (505) 757-7241 or visit our website at www.nps.gov/peco. You will also find our listings on the New Mexico True website (newmexico.org) and Tourism Santa Fe (santafe.org). Please like on us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PecosNHPnps or follow us on Twitter (https://twitter.com/pecosnhp) or Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/pecos_nps).