Fourth of July the Santa Fe Way | - July 1, 2011

The Fourth of July in Santa Fe is filled with timeless traditions, from an old-fashioned pancake breakfast to a classic car show, arts and crafts fair and a dramatic fireworks display cast against a mountain backdrop.

You could also take a downtown walking tour, a sculpture garden tour, a traditional Mexican folk dance class, a flamenco dance class, a yoga class or a clairvoyant reading (this is Santa Fe, after all…).

Most of the locals start the day on the Plaza with the annual Pancakes on the Plaza,  sponsored by the Santa Fe New Mexican and Rotary Club of Santa Fe. People line up for piping hot pancakes slathered with butter and syrup, bacon or sausage, orange juice and coffee. Live music, dance and other performances take place and arts and crafts vendors line the streets of the Plaza with their booths. On a side street, dozens of classic cars are lined up on display, vying for the top spot of best cool car.

There's also a moon tent for kids to jump around in, information booths from local businesses, and a crowd of people mingling on the Plaza, catching up with old friends and current news. Later in the evening, the festivities continue with a brilliant display of fireworks, shot from the campus of Santa Fe High.  Then it's on to local clubs for some live music and dancing, or a performance at The Lensic.

As the oldest state capital in the country, Santa Fe is a popular place to be on the Fourth of July. Tourists travel from all over to take part in Pancakes on the Plaza, dressed in their red, white and blue regalia and carrying miniature flags. If you've never been before, don't miss this. And if you have, then surely you'll be there again this year.

A quick note about the holiday: this year, Santa Fe has banned the public from purchasing fireworks. And there are also some bans currently in place in Santa Fe due to the extreme fire danger and severe drought conditions. The state of New Mexico has imposed fire restrictions, banning fireworks, campfires, camp stoves, smoking, explosives, welding and off road driving