Veterans Day observances and events in New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Veterans Day is Saturday, November 11, but there are observances and events taking place throughout the weekend in New Mexico.

Schools, government offices and courts were closed Friday to observe the holiday. Our state is also giving a special offer to military members, veterans and their families.

Free Admission to Museums and Historic Sites

For current New Mexico military members and veterans, the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs is offering free admission to its 15 museums and historic sites (full list) all weekend.

The offer is good Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The resident’s spouse and children are included.

You will need to provide proof of service, however.

The offer also extends to the New Mexico Museum of Space History and the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum.

Each site is offering free admission to all veterans. The Museum of Space History is extending the offer to National Guard personnel and first responders.

All national parks and park service sites, including Bandelier National Monument, Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands, Chaco Canyon and others, will be fee-free Saturday.

Parades in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho

The City of Albuquerque’s Office of Military and Veteran Affairs is partnering with local organizations for a parade kicking off at USS Bullhead Memorial Park at 9 a.m. The parade will end at around 10 a.m. at New Mexico Veterans Memorial Park with a ceremony at 11 a.m.

Expected dignitaries include Mayor Tim Keller, U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, U.S. Rep. Gabe Vasquez and others.

The Dukes of Albuquerque Concert Band will perform music throughout the morning. Cub Scouts will also be there with signs thanking veterans for their service.

The City of Rio Rancho’s parade kicks off at 10 a.m., with floats lining up beginning at 9 a.m. You’re encouraged to avoid Southern between Country Club and Pinetree.

Events at Historic Fairview Cemetery

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month – 11 a.m. – there will be a moment of silence. Then, officials will place a wreath at the restored Monument to the Unknown Dead.

From 3-5 p.m., the cemetery is partnering with the New Mexico Humanities Council for the third “Cemetery Stories” event.

The event is a community story slam, highlighting personal reflections on grief, memorial, life and death while honoring memories of veterans. The first hour will feature speakers talking about James Santiago Hubbell, the Rough Riders and the Buffalo Soldiers. The second hour will feature individual storytellers.

To attend the event, you must first register here. It is $10.

Cemetery officials say around 550 veterans are buried at the Historic Fairview Cemetery in Albuquerque. The veterans served in the Mexican-American War, the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, as well as the wars in Korea and Vietnam.

Indian Pueblo Cultural Center Veterans Commemoration

From 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., festivities honoring veterans will take place in the IPCC courtyard.

Tara Levelle will sing the National Anthem at 11:10 a.m. Then two Acoma Pueblo members and a Santo Domingo Pueblo member will speak from 11:15 to 11:45 a.m.

From noon to 1 p.m. the Pueblo Dance Group, featuring performers from Laguna, Acoma, Zuni and Hopi Pueblos, will perform.Then, U.S. Rep. Gabe Vasquez will speak at 1:05 p.m.

The event will include more than 30 Native American artisans selling their hand-crafted artwork in the courtyard.

Other Events

The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science is also offering a Veterans Day Relaxed Night. It is happening from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Museum officials say these sensory-friendly evenings are for guests of all ages and will feature special, sensory-friendly offerings in the museum.

Admission is a free-will donation.

The 2023 New Mexican Veterans Art Show will also take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Veteran’s Day. It is a free show, open to the public, at the Expo New Mexico Fine Arts Building.

If you miss the Veteran’s Day show, the show is also happening on the 12th, 17th-19th and 24th-25th at the same building at the same runtime each day.