Save gas and enjoy free family fun at the three-day, 16th annual Los Lunas Summerfest at Heritage Park, Friday to Sunday, June 7-9.
The event will have a car show, Bennett’s Amusement carnival, live music and dancing, disc jockey Randy Gomez, games, jumpers, slides, karaoke, an amateur barbecue cookoff, open to all grillers, evening movies, as well as artists and vendors, among many other exciting and entertaining activities planned for the weekend.
“In previous years, they had a movie only on Friday night,” said Stephanie Flynn, executive director of the Los Lunas Chamber of Commerce. “This year, we’re showing a movie both Friday and Saturday night, and Summerfest is three days instead of two.”
Summerfest opens at 4:30 p.m. Friday. Live music will begin at 5, and Jam Session Music and Sound by Randy Gomez has set up a 32,000-watt sound system.
The Belen band, Salvaged, who play a lot of Eagles-style material, will be the first entertainers on stage
“I call ourselves a variety band,” said Will Arisman, bassist and saxophonist for Salvaged. “We’re classic rock with a lot of classic country mixed in as well. In addition, we do some local flavor; we play some rancheras and cumbias.”
The band consists of Arisman, Ryan Pemble on lead guitar, Paul Baca on guitar and bass, Robert Noblin on piano and harmonica, and Rafael Aroz on drums. All the members contribute to vocals.
The carnival opens at 6 p.m. Friday.
“If you buy the carnival tickets early, you get $10 off,” said Marty Callahan, president of the chamber board. “You get $30 worth of tickets for $20.”
Tickets can be purchased today and tomorrow at the Los Lunas Chamber of Commerce office at the Transportation Center on Courthouse Road at N.M. 314, or call Stephanie Flynn at 615-6226.
Then at 8 p.m., people can cozy up to watch the Marvel comics movie, “The Avengers,” staring Robert Downey, Jr., Scarlett Johansson, and Samuel L. Jackson on New Mexico’s largest outdoor movie screen, 25 by 40 feet with surround sound.
That’s just the start of the free weekend events sponsored by the Los Lunas Chamber of Commerce, village parks and recreation and others to entertain, amuse and delight Valencia County residents.
At 7 a.m. on Saturday, car show participants will start checking in.
Shiny Model-Ts, vintage Volkswagens and pickup trucks, custom hot rods, classic cars and motorcycles will be parked in the field at Heritage Park. Most of the owners will be available for questions and details about each car. They will vote on the best cars in each class. Awards will be given at 2:30 p.m.
A host of vendors including food merchants, artists, jewelry designers, and crafts people will sell their wares, while DJ Randy Gomez plays your favorite songs.
Miche Bags will have a booth with its unique changeable purses, Miss Mack’s Crafts has tortilla warmers, neck coolers, and other hand-crafted items.
Wired, Twisted and Stoned will be selling jewelry creations with semiprecious stones.
There will be food offered from Happy Dayz Burgers, Papa Hank’s Catering and Duke City Concessions with roasted turkey legs, as well as vendors offering specialty ice creams, Italian ice, cotton candy, roasted corn, and other tasty treats.
Howard Burchett, owner of Space Walk of Albuquerque, has volunteered to bring 13 different jumpers including a slide and a kids boxing arena.
At 4 p.m., the Valencia County Community Band will kick off more live music with favorites that include a selection from the movie musical, “Chicago” and “Sousa Spectacular,” which features songs written and arranged by John Philip Sousa.
The band jazzes things up a bit more with Glen Miller’s original composition, “In the Mood,” said saxophone player Joanna Chavez, a member of the band.
Next up at 6:30 p.m. is Bosque Charm, a newly formed blues and jazz group with experienced all-around musicians.
Albuquerque musician Jim Schwar keeps the time, while Wake Patterson plays the bass, Charlie Wilson and Ed O’Toole play guitars, Mike Chavez plays trumpet, Joanna Chavez plays saxophone, Roger Gibbs sings and plays the mouth harp, and Amy Toms will also sing a few tunes.
Bosque Charm will feature songs from different styles of music including, “Kansas City,” “On Broadway” and “Chitlins Con Carne,” said Chavez.
Darlene Miranda-Moya, Charlie Wilson and Bobby Pino will also perform a few songs with their group the Katulka Retreat.
The Saturday movie is, “Grease,” starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. It starts at 8 p.m.
“My biggest thing is, it’s free to the community,” said Gomez, the DJ. “All the time people ask, ‘Well, how much is it?’ It’s a free family event, so come on out.”
Los Lunas’ Summerfest originated when Gomez and Michael Jaramillo, the village parks and recreation director, worked together at Smith’s grocery store.
The store was having a Coca Cola promotion and whichever employee sold the most Coca Cola would win an outdoor cook-out bistro.
Jaramillo and Gomez decided to organize a local car show to boost their sales.
They talked to local car enthusiasts, and members of Cruz’n Route 66 car club to put it together. The price of admission to the car show was one case of Coca Cola.
The following year, Diane Huckabee, the executive director of the chamber of commerce at the time, approached them about getting the car show for the opening of the new Los Lunas Visitor Center at Heritage Park, said Gomez.
Kent Saul, owner of the Copy and Fax store in Peralta, and Chuck Rhumschlag, owner of Color Works in Los Lunas, started calling it “Summerfest,” and that’s how the annual event was born, Gomez said.
The car show was the heart of the event, and this year the New Mexico Car Council is helping to promote it.
Parking for Summerfest is on the south side of the carnival on Lambrose Loop, but there is handicap parking at Heritage Park.
Volunteers are needed as parking attendants and for picking up trash.
During the event, anyone can donate food to the Road Runner Food Bank truck for the Stop Hunger at Home, Feed Valencia County program coordinated by Youth Development Inc., and the Los Lunas Chamber of Commerce.
SUMMERFEST SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Friday, June 7
4:30 p.m.: Veterans Color Guard
Robert Noblin sings: “The Star Spangled Banner”
5-8 p.m.: Live music with the band, Salvaged
5-8 p.m.: Vendors, Space Walk of Albuquerque jumpers and carnival
8 p.m.: Outdoor movie “Marvel’s The Avengers”
10 p.m.: Close
Midnight: Carnival closes
Saturday, June 8
7 a.m.: Car registration begins
10 a.m.: Open
10 a.m.: Vendors, Space Walk jumpers, carnival, car show, barbecue cook off
10 a.m.-2 p.m.: DJ Randy Gomez plays oldies tracks
2:30 p.m.: Car show awards
3:30 p.m.: Barbecue awards
4-5:30 p.m.: First band, Valencia County Community Band
5:30-6:30 p.m.: Karaoke with DJ Randy Gomez
6:30-8 p.m.: Last band, Bosque Charm
8 p.m.: Movie, “Grease.”
10 p.m.: Close
Midnight: Carnival closes
Sunday, June 9
10 a.m.: Open
10 a.m.: Vendors, carnival, games, music
11 a.m.-3 p.m.: Games, pie-eating contest, watermelon-eating contest, hot dog-eating contest, YDI donations
4 p.m.: Close
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