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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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San Estevan Feast Day Observes Pueblo Traditions

LAS CRUCES Ð A historical celebration to mark the beginning of harvest will take place on San Estevan Feast Day Sept. 2 at the Acoma Pueblo, east of Grants.

"Missionaries first arrived at Acoma Pueblo Ð the oldest continuously inhabited Indian pueblo on the continent Ð with the Coronado expedition in the 1540s," said Mike Cook, technical writer with New Mexico State University's Rural Economic Development Through Tourism (REDTT) project. "The San Estevan del Rey Mission was completed in 1629, making it the most ancient in North America."

The feast was moved to September about two centuries ago to observe the harvest, he said. The festival includes traditional Indian dances and authentic pueblo foods like fried bread and red and green chile stew. Festival-goers also can visit the 1,000 Years of Clay Museum.

Acoma Pueblo, also known as "Sky City," sits on top of the 357-foot rock of Ako. The pueblo is located 13 miles southwest of Interstate 40, exit 108 and 25 miles east of Grants.

There is no charge to attend the festival. Donations will be accepted at the museum and for shuttle rides from the Sky City Visitors Center to the plaza arena. The use of still and video cameras is prohibited at all times.

For more information about San Estevan Feast Day, contact the Sky City Visitors Center at (505) 470-4966.

REDTT is a program of NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service that promotes agriculture through tourism.