Destination El Paso


Annual Events

Ardovino's Farmers Market (May)

Local farmers and artisans sell their fresh produce and fine wares each Saturday morning.


Billy the Kid Festival (June)

San Elizario celebrates Billy the Kid's visit to San Elizario in 1876. See reenactments of the historic breakout of Billy's friend at the old El Paso County Jail. Learn the historic truths of his visit to the old Texas town and more!


Christmas Fair (November)

"A Christmas Fair" is the Junior League of El Paso's primary fundraising event. This is an annual shopping gift market. The event, recognized as an El Paso Tradition, is staged with over 200 merchants, which contribute to the festivities with great items for sale, and an average of 15,000 shoppers.


Dia De Los Muertos (November)

The celebration of Dia de los Muertos includes ghost tours, fortune tells, exhibits and a Dia de los Muertos style alter.


El Paso Chamber Music Festival (January)

El Paso Pro-Musica is devoted to making the art of chamber music available to our community by bringing world-renowned artists to delight and educate audiences.

El Paso Pro-Musica strives to emotionally move, delight, and educate audiences through an annual concert of chamber music. Artistic excellence is essential and performed by professional world-class musicians.


El Paso Chopin Festival (October)

The El Paso Chopin Music Festival is presented in the fall of each year by the El Paso Chopin Music Festival Society as a gift to the community. The annual
series of performances serve to promote the appreciation of Chopin's music, and classical music in general.

The performances are always free of charge, and are characterized by their STANDING ROOM ONLY audiences. Therefore, we recommend that you come early (at least a half an hour before the scheduled start), in order to ensure that you will have a seat.

As we are a non-profit organization. Patrons are encouraged to show their appreciation of the events by making a donation to the festival, or by purchasing a CD of the performer's work at the theater.

We welcome people of all ages, however we strongly recommend that very small children and infants not be brought into the theater.


Kidspalooza (March)

Kidspalooza is a family-friendly event. One of the largest arts collaborations in the region. There are a variety of events and participants involved. Kidspalooza has become a signature event for the spring.


Movies in the Canyon (August)

Free Movies in the Canyon every Friday and Saturday night at McKelligon Canyon Amphitheatre. Enjoy your favorite family movies.


Sun Bowl Thanksgiving Parade (November)

Spectators line Montana each Thanksgiving morning to watch the largest community event in the Southwest. Parade includes floats, giant helium balloons, equestrian units, clowns, marching bands, drum and bugle corps units from Mexico, and a wide variety of specialty units from Mexican/Indian dancers to military ceremonial units.
Parade route is on Montana Ave. from Ochoa to Copia.


El Paso Puzzler Endurance Weekend Mountain Bike Race & Trail Run (January)

Conquer the largest urban State park in the North America! 6,200 Feet of Climbing-single track technical terrain. 51K Trail Run & Half Marathon Trail Run


Bourbon Street on Cincinnati Street (February)

Although El Paso is not quite situated on the bayou, it doesn’t stop the revelers from shouting, “Laissez les bons temps rouler!” (Let the good times roll.) The Mardi Gras celebration in Kern Place on Fat Tuesday is a hallowed tradition. Get showered with beads while enjoying good food, live outdoor music, and drink specials.


Hueco Rock Rodeo (February)

The weekend event hosts various Adventure Films, Slide Shows, New Boulder Problems and Famous Classics at our annual competition, Live Music, a Paintball Shoot-Out, a Mechanical Bull, and Clinics! Come claim your prize at the podium and win a raffle that will go to benefit The Access Fund.


Michelob Ultra El Paso Marathon (February)

Faster, Scenic Course: The marathon will begin atop TransMountain Road, head south onto the Fort Bliss military base, and finish in the Downtown Entertainment District. This is a Boston Marathon Qualifier. Both gun and chip time results are sent to the Boston Athletic Association, which accepts chip time as a qualifying time.


Advance Auto Parts Monster Jam (March)

USHRA Monster Trucks including Grave Digger® driven by Dennis Anderson, Maximum Destruction® driven by Tom Meents, Advance Auto Parts Grinder, Iron Man driven by Lee O'Donnell, El Toro Loco® driven by Marc McDonald, Monster Mutt® driven by Joe Miller, Lucas Oil Crusader, Grave Digger The Legend driven by Tony Farrell, Avenger driven by Jim Koehler, Brutus driven by Chris Bergeron, Shock Therapy driven by Jon Zimmer, Excaliber driven by Chris Lagana, Bounty Hunter driven by Jim Creten, and Iron Outlaw!
Subject to change without notice.


Franklin Mountains Poppies Celebration (March)

The El Paso Museum of Archeology, along with the Franklin Mountains State Park and the Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition holds its annual Franklin Mountains Poppies Celebration on Castner Range each Spring. In addition to basking in the blaze of color these beautiful flowers provide, make sure to check out the wildlife demonstrations and nature talks, as well as the educational exhibits during this free event.


Siglo de Oro Drama Festival (March)

Since its modest beginning at the Chamizal National Memorial in the spring of 1976, the Siglo de Oro Spanish Drama Festival has attained an international reputation for presenting quality presentations from Spain's Golden Age, in both English and Spanish. Once just a small event geared towards die-hard aficionados, the festival is now a place where scholars, performing groups, and audience members from all over the world can showcase and enjoy the classic literature that is our foundation and heritage. Take a step back in time and enjoy the works of classic literary masters.



Sunland Derby (March)

If you would rather watch horses run than ride them, mosey on down to the Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino to watch racers compete for a $900,000 in prize money. The Sunland Derby is listed as an official prep race for the Kentucky Derby, so you may just catch a star on the rise!


Alfresco! Fridays (April)

Another Friday night, and no plans on the horizon? Head downtown! This immensely popular free concert series has been bringing El Pasoans and visitors alike downtown to Arts Festival Plaza to enjoy fresh-air performances in an electrifying atmosphere. Acts range from Big Band, Jazz, and Reggae, to Classic Rock, Ska, Blues and more. Alfresco Fridays runs through September.


Coyote Classic (April)

Camping will be available to racers Saturday April 6 & Sunday April 7. There are no electric or water hook ups available for RV’s.


Dia de los Niños, Dia de los Libros (April)

The El Paso Public Library, Parks and Recreation and hundreds of other local organizations hold an annual celebration of children and literacy. The entire community comes together at a local park to take part in free, fun and educational activities for the whole family. The event draws thousands of participants each year. Some of the activities include a parade and healthy heart walk, music and performance stage and a free book giveaway. Organizers have given away more than 150,000 books to children since the event began in 1997.


Featherfest (April)

Come learn about the over 200 species of birds that populate the area during this event at the El Paso Desert Botanical Gardens at Keystone Park. Study the relics left behind by people living in this part of the Rio Grande Bosque thousands of years ago. Take a nature walk or birding tour. There are so many options for the nature-lover to enjoy at this family friendly event.


First Thanksgiving Celebration (April)

Don’t believe everything you learn in school! The first Thanksgiving wasn’t celebrated at Plymouth Plantation – it happened right here on the Borderland. That is the concept behind The El Paso Mission Trail Association’s yearly reenactment of the festivities. This historical portrayal commemorates the arrival of the first Spanish settlers in this area in April 1598. A company of costumed actors and dancers represent the Native Americans and Spaniards, who give thanks and celebrate after their perilous crossing of the Chihuahuan desert and arrival at the banks of the Rio Grande. Fans of traditional turkey may be disappointed, but fans of intrigue and conspiracy will not be.


FloraFest (April)

Why settle for another boring orange sweatshirt or a bumper sticker to show your support of all things El Paso? Buy a plant instead! Held in the courtyard between the Centennial Museum and The Undergraduate Learning Center at UTEP, this annual native plant sale is a wonderful way to brighten up those sad spots in your garden. Don’t know what to choose? Experts are on hand to help answer any questions. All proceeds benefit the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens at the Centennial Museum.


Generation 2000 (April)

Billed as the largest children’s fair in the Southwest, Generation 2000 is a weekend extravaganza melding fun, excitement, and education for children of all ages. Face painting, games, and live music help parents and kids forget just why they had been fighting in the first place, and bond instead.


Mighty Mujer Triathalon (April)

Mighty Mujer Triathlon is an all-female “super sprint” that starts with a 300-yard swim in an indoor pool. The 15k bike course is followed by a 2-mile run in the Memorial Park area in Central El Paso. The “super sprint” course is perfect for beginners; the rolling hills will challenge seasoned athletes! Athletes must be 12 years old or older.


Armed Forces Day (May)

Free and open to the public, this event is held every year on Noel Field at Fort Bliss. Billed as a military operation in which dozens of organizations team up to entertain the public, it is foremost a way for the community to come out and honor our armed forces. Chili cook-offs, a health fair, and a tour of the post’s historic sites are just some of the activities the whole family can enjoy.


KLAQ International Balloonfest (May)

As one of El Paso’s most highly anticipated yearly events, the KLAQ International Balloonfest has been delighting the crowds for over 25 years. This three-day festival marks the beginning of summer with outdoor concerts, and, hot air balloons in all shapes and sizes.


Neon Desert Music (May)

Multiple outdoor stages, local and regional artist displays and a diverse music line-up will light up the southwestern skies!


Cool Canyon Nights (June)

Cool Canyon Nights is held in the picturesque McKelligon Canyon during the summer months. (runs through August)


Dancing in the City (June)

Dancing in the City offers visitors a live dance lesson taught by professional dancers, one hour prior to the live music performance. Enjoy the sounds of both, local and touring bands.


Downtown Street Festival (June)

As one of El Paso’s largest downtown celebrations, the Downtown Street Festival is a non-stop party with food, fun, games, and outdoor music. Not just an adult-oriented event, there is a children’s carnival, arts and crafts area, and over a hundred vendor booths.


Elephant Festival (June)

The annual celebration of the El Paso Zoo’s biggest residents was inspired by the late, great Mona the Elephant. A fixture at the zoo for over 50 years, Mona was a much loved friend to many. Enjoy educational presentations by zookeepers and volunteers, activities for children and musical entertainment.


Mission Valley Duathlon (June)

Mission Valley Duathlon begins with a 5k run in the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo neighborhood. The first run is followed by a 20k bike on the historical Mission Trail/Socorro Road. Finally, the second run again takes place in the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo. The entire course is flat and fast!


Music Under the Stars (June)

Now in its 28th year, this free concert series at The Chamizal National Memorial has become one of the largest free music festivals in Texas. Pack a picnic and bring the whole family along to enjoy local and international acts playing under the beautiful El Paso sky.
(runs June-August)


Southwestern International PRCA Rodeo (June)

Don’t miss the 17th oldest rodeo in the nation and El Paso's longest running sporting event! Consistently ranked as one of the top 50 shows in the country by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, this charitable event is a true celebration of western culture and heritage.


Viva! El Paso (June)

VIVA! EL PASO
Four Centuries. Four Cultures. One City.

Enjoy El Paso's own outdoor musical extravaganza, celebrating its 34th anniversary in the McKelligon Canyon Amphitheatre. This colorful musical spectacular celebrates the four major cultures that have influenced the City of the Sun.The Native American, the Spanish Conquistador, the Mexican and the Western American cultures and their histories come alive through drama, song and dance by a cast of over 50 performers. VIVA! EL PASO is an experience not to be missed!
(runs June-August)


El Maida Shrine Circus (July)

Come one, come all! The El Maida Shrine Circus features heart-stopping acts such as lion tamers and tight-rope walkers, as well as a motorcycle show, clowns, and jugglers. Still a little scared of those painted faces? Just remember that proceeds from Shriner events help provide free care to orthopedic patients and burn victims under the age of 18. That is definitely something to smile about.


Texas Showdown Tattoo & Music Festival (July)

The country's largest tattoo & music festival spans over 3 days and boasts live tattooing, various vendors, celebrities and over 20 national bands!


Ysleta Mission Festival (July)

This free 3-day festival has been held every year for almost a century at the centuries-old Ysleta Mission. Traditional dances, a mouthwatering array of food, game booths and carnival rides entertain the entire family. Enjoy a taste of El Paso history while helping preserve one of its most precious landmarks.


BugFest (August)

Fun & games for the whole family! We’re breaking out the bugs and letting you see them UP CLOSE at the best place to bug out before school starts – The El Paso Zoo! Bring your camera for pictures with Insect Man, then stop by to see huge, hissing Madagascar Cockroaches or Emperor Scorpions, or even some squirmy worms. Kids can get up-close to tarantulas and other spiders. There will be the all-time favorite “Bug Races,” along with a life-size maze for your kids to explore on their own…like little bugs!


Plaza Classic Film Festival (August)

Established in 2008, The Plaza Classic Film Festival is the world’s largest film festival dedicated to classic cinema. The event incorporates more than 80 feature films and 60 short films; from rare screenings of classics to screenings by up-an-coming directors. The Festival also includes film talks with celebrities and film scholars, concerts and special presentations.

Screenings are held downtown in and around the historic Plaza Theatre Performing Arts Centre, a 1930 atmospheric movie palace that was restored in 2006.


A Taste of El Paso (September)

If you LOVE local flavor, make plans to attend A Taste of El Paso, a food fest to include over two dozen restaurants, bakeries, and establishments offering samples and mini-meals, wine and beer tastings, mixology and baking demonstrations; plus a massive kitchen display from Goff’s Appliance & TV.


Chihuahuan Desert Fiesta (September)

This free event at Tom Mays Park celebrates the Chihuahuan Desert with a program illustrating the unique plant and animal life native to our region. The Fiesta kicks off the popular six-week Celebration of Our Mountains. Free climbing tutorials and a chili cook-off are some of the activities organized to help people get excited about preserving our wonderfully diverse desert ecosystem.


Chile Pepper Challenge (September)

The Chile Pepper Challenge is El Paso's premier cycling event. Over 900 cyclists line up for an epic ride through the scenic and historic Mesilla Valley over country lanes covered by pecan orchards and lined by New Mexico's world renowned chile fields. The Chile Pepper Challenge offers routes, distances and mountain climbs for cyclist of all skill levels and ambition.

The Chile Pepper Challenge is a fund raising event with thousands of dollars raised and contributed annually to local charities. This year the local charities we are raising money for include Big Brothers Big Sisters of El Paso, Animal Rescue League, Hospice of El Paso and the Lee and Beulah Moore Children's Home. Representatives from each charity staff the rest stops along the route. Show them you care by riding the Chile Pepper Challenge.


Eagle in the Sun Triathalon (September)

Eagle in the Sun Triathlon starts with a 400-meter swim in an Olympic-size indoor pool. The 20k bike course is an out-and-back on the historical Mission Trail, and the 5k run takes place on the Tigua Indian reservation! Individuals and relay teams are welcome for the event. The beginner-friendly course is flat and fast!


Fiesta de las Flores (September)

Fiesta de Las Flores celebrates the El Paso Hispanic heritage with concerts, beauty pageant, huacha tournament, senior dance, carnival rides, food and lots of family fun. This festival is a wonderful celebration of culture and pride. Make sure not to miss the coronation of the new festival queen!


Sun City Music Festival (September)

El Paso’s largest eclectic outdoor music festival with over 30 international acts and some of the most popular DJ’s in the world. This is the most massive electronic outdoor music festival in the Sun City!


12 Hours of Old El Paso (October)

Racers come from all around the Southwest to compete in this endurance race. Racers compete in solo, duo or 4 person team formats. The objective? Complete as many laps on our 10 mile course in 12 hours. The course is located on the eastern slopes of the Franklin Mountains. Staged at the beloved Bowen Ranch Roundhouse, racers and spectators camp in RV's and Tents while enjoying a weekend of mountain bike fun.


Boo at the Zoo (October)

Come to one of El Paso’s largest trick-or-treat extravaganzas! The El Paso Zoo is home to about 240 different species of animals spread out over 35 acres. Explore the new animal exhibits while enjoying fun, games, and candy. Prizes are given for best costume. Don’t be “lion” around this Halloween – take the family out for a rollicking good time.


Celebration of our Mountains (October)

Enjoy the outdoor treasures of the El Paso del Norte Region during this six-week celebration. Bird watching, nature hikes and drives, mountain biking and even bat watches are part of this yearly festival. If you would rather relax than explore the young volcanic crater outside of El Paso, you can opt for the “Coffee, hot chocolate, muffins, and the tramway’ event. There is truly something for everyone, and most events are free.


Chalk the Block (October)

Chalk the Block is quickly becoming an El Paso signature event. Come experience your downtown in a whole new light as we invite you to feast your eyes on some amazing sidewalk chalk art, live music, good food, an interactive Jungle Jakes Kids Zone for the little ones, temporary public art installations, art vendors for the shopaholics, aerialist performances and more! Best of all, this event is FREE and open to the public! Sidewalks aren't just for walking anymore. Hit the pavement and head to downtown El Paso and see what we're talking about at Chalk The Block. See artists put their spin on a traditional Italian technique as they unleash their creative spirits using El Paso's sidewalks as their canvas. It all unfolds before your eyes at Chalk the Block.


Concordia Walk Through History (October)

The annual event features historical figures from El Paso’s past come alive through talks, reenactments of famous gunfights and more. A country store, exhibits, and plenty of food and drink will help make the day a memorable one. If you have every wanted to ask John Wesley Hardin a question, now’s your chance! Just don’t take him up on a duel at high noon.


Hueco Tanks Interpretative Fair (October)

This free two-day event includes Native American dancing and drumming, a Buffalo Soldier encampment, Folklorico dancers, pictograph and birding tours, climbing demonstrations, environmental and cultural information booths, and an evening campfire storytelling program. Come learn about one of the El Paso area’s most breathtaking natural wonders.


Amigo Airsho (November)

Amigo Airsho is one of El Paso's premier events, and is ranked as one of the top ten air shows in the country. The show is filled with thrilling air entertainment and fun ground activities for the whole family to enjoy. Watch Franklin’s Flying Circus, where performers walk gracefully on the wings of an airborne plane. Prefer the action a little closer to the ground? Keep an eye out for the Jet Powered School Bus. You’ll have to find a new excuse to explain why you were late for class.


Flying Horse Half Marathon (November)

Flying Horse Half is a 13.1-mile road race that begins and ends at Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino. The run takes athletes on a flat course in the Upper Valley area of El Paso. Half marathoners will run the final mile on a racetrack, where they’ll be captured on live video. The 5k Run offers an abbreviated course.


Hyundai Sun Bowl and Fan Fiesta (December)

The Sun Bowl Association, its 700 volunteers, and the City of El Paso welcome you to the Hyundai Sun Bowl football game. It is our pleasure to be your host as the nation's second oldest bowl game. The Sun Bowl is known for its friendly hospitality - not only from our volunteers but from our citizens as well. The City of El Paso has many things to offer and we are excited that you have chosen to celebrate this year's game with us.

During your stay, we invite you to attend our many activities surrounding game week, including the Hyundai Sun Bowl Football Game, the Fan Fiesta, the Bank of the West Sun Bowl Basketball Tournament and the Rotary Sun Bowl Luncheon. We encourage you to visit our surrounding historic sites, enjoy our sunny weather, taste the flavor of our bi-cultural community. Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask our friendly volunteers or staff. Once again, welcome to the Sun City. We hope you enjoy your stay!


Luminarias By The Lake (December)

Stroll the wetlands illuminated by hundreds of luminarias. Musical entertainment and holiday refreshments.


San Jacinto Plaza Christmas Tree Lighting (December)

The annual "Christmas in Lights" continues the holiday tradition of the plaza's spectacular Christmas tree and displays. Entertainment begins in the early afternoon with the lighting at dusk, followed by the Holiday Lights Parade.

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