Each season in Albuquerque provides its own special charms. Balloons dot the autumn skies, luminarias twinkle in the crisp winter months, and bright pink crabapple trees blossom at springtime. But it's hard to compete with Albuquerque summers, when street fairs bring together Burqueños from all parts of the city and the arts scene flourishes with creative performances. Below are some of our favorite summer events in ABQ.

Ongoing Events

   Shakespeare on the Plaza - June 9 to July 2
The plays being performed at this year's Shakespeare on the Plaza couldn't be more different. "Macbeth" is the ultimate story of paranoia plus ambition equalling tragedy, and "The Comedy of Errors" features a Shakespearean take on the soap opera trope of mixed-up twins. Enjoy these free shows in Albuquerque's downtown Civic Plaza.
   Salsa, Jazz & Blues Under the Stars - June to August, Fridays & Saturdays
Living in Albuquerque can be intimidating for the two-left-footed among us. Did you know that the University of New Mexico offers the only undergraduate and graduate degrees in flamenco in the world? You don't have to be a dance pro to have a blast at the "Under the Stars" concert series at Albuquerque Museum's outdoor amphitheater. If you love live music and admiring the dancing skills of a ridiculously talented city, you'll have a fantastic time.

 ABQ BioPark Concert Series - June to August, Thursdays & Fridays
This year's BioPark Concert Series has something for every music enthusiast. Nostalgists of the '90s can sing along to all the lyrics of the Verve Pipe's "The Freshmen"; those who enjoy irresistible crosscultural music will love dancing to local favorites Baracutanga. And we can all appreciate the uplifting musical messages of the Wailers, the reggae band that introduced Bob Marley to the world. Featuring both local and international bands, both established and up and coming, this series provides great music in a beautiful outdoor setting.

 One-Day-Only Events

  Freedom 4th - July 4
There's simply no better way to celebrate Independence Day than with fireworks, Frito pies, and a concert from none other than country-music legend Clint Black. Black, one of the biggest stars of American music, headlines a day of live music that also includes Bill Palmer's TV Killers and the Westwind Band. Throw in a Microbrew Garden and activities for the kids, and you have the perfect day out. Events kick off at 3 p.m. at the Balloon Fiesta Park.
  Route 66 Summerfest - July 22
Get your kicks at this major festival in the historic Nob Hill neighborhood, running from 3 to 10 p.m. on July 22. From the remarkable Route 66 Car Show to the Mother Road Art Market attesting to the city's diverse artistry, the Summerfest is a sensory feast. Speaking of, you'll have a hard time deciding on which food trucks to try-a nice problem to have. Cap off your day with a lively performance by multiple-Grammy-Award-winners Los Lobos.
  Albuquerque Hopfest - August 26
Albuquerque is an undisputed leader of the national brewery scene. Out-of-state travelers should definitely make ABQ their next beercation destination. For locals, deciding which brewery to visit next can be a challenge; with the Albuquerque Hopfest, you won't have to decide. With 70+ participating breweries--plus live music on three stages--the Hopfest offers an incomparable chance to sample from our embarrassment of ale riches.

 To find out more about Albuquerque's exciting events, you can check out our interactive travel guide. We haven't even gotten into the salsa-tasting and world-music events of September!