It’s no secret that railroads played a big part in the formation of Albuquerque. From the moment the first rails were established in 1880, the city began growing. In just a short period of time, the railroad led to the creation of completely new neighborhoods, and—of course—a plethora of new saloons.
In fact, Albuquerque was once home to the Alvarado Hotel, what many considered to be the finest railroad hotel of its time in 1902. More than a century later, ABQ is still chock-full of railroad fans. If you don’t have any plans for the weekend, some good events to “get on track:”
Trains on the Brain
Whether you’re a hardcore train modeler or simply a “rail buff,” there will be plenty to do, see, and buy at the Annual Albuquerque Model Train Show and Railroad Fair, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday at the School Arts Building at Expo New Mexico.
Guests can peruse models from more than 120 dealer tables, although there will be much more than just tiny trains available for purchase. History buffs can fawn over antique lanterns, dining car china, calendars, switch locks, and other historic tools and items that played an important role in railroad life.
The show includes five fully-operational railroad displays that will be running for visitors’ viewing pleasure, and might just make you feel like you’re in the heyday of ABQ railroad operations. Admission is $6, and children under 12 get in free.
Wine on the Mind
Unleash your inner wine fan at the annual Albuquerque Wine Festival, which puts vinophiles front-and-center with wine from wineries around the state.
It’s all about “try before you buy” at this shindig, too—sampling allows guests to hone in on their favorite bottles, purchase them, and take them home to enjoy. Each guest will receive a free souvenir wine glass (it’s included in the $20 admission price), which can be used to sample the fares of at least 20 wine and alcohol producers.
Of course, you can’t have wine without food. The festival will be held at Balloon Fiesta Park, where there is plenty of room for food vendors featuring both Southwestern and international fare.
Dogs won’t be allowed into the park, and anyone under the age of 21 will be admitted for free but must be accompanied by a legal guardian. The three-day celebration starts Saturday and ends on Monday, May 25.
Live music performances will take place, and doors open at 12 p.m.
Craft Beer Craze
Wine won’t have the last word this weekend!
Beer fans will find solace at Sandia Resort & Casino, where the fifth-annual ABQ Blues & Brews festival will take place on Sunday. Beer fans can partake in suds from more than 50 breweries, while three blues bands provide live entertainment.
There will also be games, raffles, and home-brew demonstrations galore. The festival may only last one day, but 3,000 people are expected to attend (organizers recommend carpooling). There will also be plenty of non-beer vendors to visit, including three radio stations, spa and massage joints, and Uber and Yelp.
Festival beneficiaries include a handful of non-profits, including Animal Humane, the Make-A-Wish Foundation of New Mexico,and Engineers Without Borders.
Oh, did we mention this year’s celebration will host an all-new sample-slinging cocktail lounge right before the stage? You can thank us later. General admission starts at 3 p.m.
What are you doing this weekend?