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Justin Schatz is The Paper's daily news reporter. He has reported on New Mexico for KRQE News, Searchlight NM and the Santa Fe Reporter.

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Albuquerque’s Summerfest is back after a year’s hiatus. The pandemic and the accompanying social distancing measures forced the city to cancel the beloved annual event in 2020. The first of three 2021 Summerfests scheduled will be at North Domingo Baca Park on July 31.

“This year we are putting the spotlight on local artists, bands and small businesses,” Albuquerque Community Events Division Manager Bree Ortiz said. Each neighborhood will feature local artists and bands who will perform throughout the festivities. North Domingo Baca Park will feature two stages where artists and bands will perform. Schedules have yet to be announced for Nob Hill and Ventana Ranch. 

This year planning was a little different compared to years past, as the state’s COVID restrictions were just recently lifted on July 1. “The window for planning was cut drastically short, but we had an action plan in place ahead of the state’s graduation from the color-coded framework,” Ortiz said. Despite the uncertainty, the first Summerfest that the city has planned already has a robust lineup of artists and food vendors. 

“The first of three Albuquerque Summerfests will showcase six local bands on two stages at North Domingo Baca Park on July 31. There will also be a Microbrew Garden featuring local beer, wine and spirits; numerous food trucks and vendors; and free children’s activities like face painting, inflatable jumpers and a climbing rock wall,” Ortiz added.

Six bands are set to perform on July 31: Hooks and The Huckleberries, Reviva, Son Como Con, Black Pearl Band NM, Higher Ground Bluegrass and The Memphis P. Tails.

Summerfest at North Domingo Baca Park also has a fleet of food trucks and food vendors scheduled for the event. A few food trucks that will be in attendance include Burque Eats Food Truck, Kamikaze Food Truck and Umami Moto Food Truck. 

The Microbrew Garden will feature some of Albuquerque’s most lauded breweries, including Bosque Brewing Company, Boxing Bear Brewing Company, Hollow Spirits and Tractor Brewing Company, to name a few. 

Ortiz also noted that this is a rain-or-shine event for those worried that our prolific monsoon season may cancel the event. Parking will also be first-come first-serve.

Albuquerque Summerfest at North Domingo Baca Park is scheduled from 5 to 8pm. The event is free for everyone to attend. 

For more updates, visit the city’s special events website.

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