Located in beautiful Barelas, the Rail Yards Market is part of an ever-expanding list of must-experience venues in and around Albuquerque - but it is not easily classifiable. It is much more than a market and rather a meeting place, where a vortex of sights, sounds, aromas and tastes congregate, every Sunday from 9am to 3pm! Artists of all mediums converge with educators and a dedicated community of volunteers to create a truly one-of-a-kind experience. It is a world-class event where patrons can shop from local growers, listen to amazing local music, partake in mindful stretching, learn from dedicated educators, and be exposed to cutting-edge art while being immersed in ideas regarding sustainability and a reintroduction to traditional ways of living.
The Blacksmith's Shop
The physical space for the Rail Yards Market is composed of a menagerie of steel, wood and stained-glass. When visitors walk in they follow the old railroad tracks which were used to bring in disabled railcars for repairs. I can only imagine the hours of sweat and toil it took to fashion and mold steel into a vehicle of transportation. There are two other similar structures on the 27 acre site. Owned and operated by the City of Albuquerque, the site has been used for movie production, music-videos and a smattering of other events. On May 4, the Blacksmith shop became the home of the Rail Yards Market, with over 8,000 folks visiting the market on opening day.
Sights, Sounds and Education
The sunlight pours in, filtered by the colors of the stained-glass windows, and settles on the floor allowing giving the visitor a sense of sanctuary. Sounds of excited chatter percolate throughout the building. The Community Stage, which is immediately on the let-hand side of the entrance features an eclectic set of programming including: movement-yoga, comedy, acoustic music, and a varied assortment of entertainers. The Main Stage, which can be found at the rear of the building, has featured bigger acts such as Flamenco Dancers, Aerialists, Poets, and Bands.
The idea of taking an abandoned space, in this case the Rail Yards, was the brainchild of community members who organized an all-volunteer crew made up of folks from all walks of life. The Rail Yards Market emphasizes education as well as entertainment and therefore there are 5 Educational Zones that are programmed in partnerships with community partners every week:
- The Children's Zone provides children with entertaining and educational activities
- The Pop-Up Gallery Zone provides an opportunity for a local artist to showcase their work
- The Live Arts Zone gives visitors a birds-eye view into the art process as an artist creates right in front of visitors eyes
- The Traditional Zone educates the public regarding traditional methods and ways of living that emphasize harmony and balance
- The Sustainability Zone strives to educate the community in more efficient ways of living
The programming at the Rail Yards Market centers around a theme. The Rail Yards Market has celebrated Love, Peace and Friendship while providing an opportunity for local vendors to gain vital exposure. One of the main goals of the organizers of the Rail Yards Market is to build a more vibrant, and integrated community. Come on down to this historical site on Sundays and visit the Rail Yards Market, and you may just bump into an old friend, or make a new one!
How to get there
The market is located at 777 1st Street SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102.
For more information, visit www.RailYardsMarket.org.