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New Mexico State University

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San Lorenzo Feast Day Preserves New Mexico's Ancient History

LAS CRUCES -- Centuries-old Indian dances will highlight the annual San Lorenzo Feast Day at Acoma Pueblo's Acomita Village on August 10.

"This is a great part of the history of New Mexico," said Mike Cook with New Mexico State University's Rural Economic Development Through Tourism (REDTT) program. "Native Americans have been performing these dances and rites for centuries."

REDTT, which is a part of NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service, promotes agriculture through tourism.

During this colorful festival, people named Lorenzo or Lawrence throw gifts to visitors from pueblo rooftops, Cook said. Vendors will sell arts and crafts and food throughout the day.

The celebration will be held on the traditional feast day of Saint Lawrence. "San Lorenzo Feast Day has been around so long that its exact origins are unknown," Cook said. "The Indian dances and other activities give visitors a glimpse of traditional pueblo life."

Visitors also can see Acoma, the oldest continuously inhabited Indian pueblo in North America, which stands atop the 367-foot high rock of Ako.

Taking pictures, both still and video, is prohibited during the festival.

To get to the festival, take exit 102 on Interstate 40, 20 miles southwest of Grants, then drive one and a half miles south to Acomita. For more information, contact the Sky City Visitors Center at (505) 470-4966.