Many fans of Ruidoso Downs Race Track agree that if you only come to the races one weekend all summer, the Zia Festival has something for everyone.
“It’s an exciting weekend for racing and shopping,” Kana Laymon said. She is the vendor sales coordinator for the Zia Festival which now has approximately seventy vendor booths taking part in the three day event.
“It’s a lot about shopping and being able to purchase unique items,” Laymon said. She’s been putting together the group of approximately 70 vendor spaces that will appear at this year’s Zia Festival.
“Our goal is to present a wide variety of artists & products for the Zia Festival so that there is something that every patron might enjoy,” Laymon said. “We’ve worked very hard to present a quality show this year for the fans.”
The Zia Festival includes a play area for children, concessions, music and horse racing. There are 13 stakes race events during the weekend’s race card with first post at 1 p.m. each day. The tent and grandstand opens for shopping at 11 a.m.
Saturday evening, Texas southwestern swing star Jake Hooker will perform on the race track. Hooker has been playing traditional country music his entire career, and plays a standup bass in front of his tradition country music band. The apron of the race track will serve as a dance floor for the concert that begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 to the show, or $5 with a Dr Pepper can at the box office or online.
Here is a partial list of the vendors that will appear in the tent at this year’s Zia Festival:
29barranch: Shirley Norris has been a regular at the Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium and PRCA Rodeo in Las Vegas. She has a summer home in Ruidoso that she enjoys when she’s not working festivals and rodeos featuring Trail of Painted Ponies figurines, horse halters, leather purses, barb-wire crosses and children’s accessories.
Blended Hearts: Jaylynn Chapman sells delicious sweet and spicy goodies that will bring back the memories of your grandmother’s kitchen from jellies, salsas and fruit spreads. They will also be selling fresh fruit during the Zia Festival.
Blue Quail Designs: They are a family ran Mom and Pop shop , that has grown to be the largest southwest jewelry and art store in Texas. Very unique authentic Native American jewelry and western art can be found.
Bonanza Western Wear: Here’s a one-stop for every New Mexico cowboy and cowgirl. They carry a full line of cowboy hats, river hats, t-shirts, blankets, and Baha jackets. For the younger racing fans, the offer singing and dancing ponies and western toys.
Capitan 4H Club: These teens are raising funds to do projects in the coming school year and will be offering free face painting for kids by the activity area just inside the tent. They will also be accepting donations to help fund those future projects.
Cattalic Style: Cindy Hendley owns an affordable ladies clothing store at 2400 Sudderth Drive in Ruidoso with accessories, fashion jewelry, shoes, and everything else to complete your style from head to toe. Women’s fashions from popular brands are featured along with leather handbags, southwestern décor and custom boots.
Cowboy Candles: Ken Petree has been making fabulous hand-poured candles for many years as well as creating unique New Mexican leather artwork.
Emilio and Marguerite Chavez Jewelry: This New Mexican business has a tribal affiliation with Santo Domingo Pueblo where the tribe creates handcrafted and handmade traditional and contemporary jewelry from sea shells, turquoise stones and other semi-precious stones all made into wearable jewelry. You’ll find bracelets, rings, pendants, necklaces, earrings and other unique pieces of fine jewelry direct from their showcase in Santa Fe at the Palace of the Governors.
Enhanced Flavors: Don and Mary Kovach offer a wide variety of flavored olive oils, balsamic vinegars and multiple flavors of pasta. The vinegars are awesome when making marinades, salad dressings and pasta dishes. The oils make great dipping sauces and are great drizzled over bread or pasta.
Friends Of The Hubbard Museum: Is a non-profit organization that supports the museum by funding events, education, presentations and activities that enhance the community. They will be selling raffle tickets for a Peter Hurd painting.
Green Health CBD: This Ruidoso business that sells medicinal parts of the cannabis plant. Because there is no THC in the products there aren’t any psychoactive effects and no medical card is required. The products are made in New Mexico, organically produced and 100% guaranteed.
Guatemala and More Imports: Will Sican of Santa Fe presents his selection of handmade belts, quilts, hammocks and other originals imported from Guatamala. He also features products from artists that live in the Santa Fe art community.
High Mesa Kettle Korn: Steve Highfill will be serving up some fresh, sweet and salty Kettle Corn. He has been perfecting his corn for five years. He can be found at events throughout New Mexico, Texas and Arizona. 10% of profits go towards helping restore the old mission in La Mesa, NM that was built in 1846.
Hope Springs Gourmet Foods: Vivian Cockrell offers natural Artisan hand crafted gourmet crackers, dip mixes and spice blends. She uses herbs and spices for her ingredients with no added preservatives or fillers.
JAD Custom Engraving & Handmade Western Goods: Jack Allen has worked on multiple ranches throughout the southwest and is an accomplished horseman. He and his wife enjoy living the western lifestyle. He has been tool engraving sterling silver for over thirty years. He learned the trade from his father after working together creating hand tooled leather goods. There will a great selection of unique hand engraved sterling silver jewelry.
Jee’s Gifts: Jean Everett started her business after retiring as an educator. She features handmade custom jewelry and crosses made in New Mexico.
Let Them Be Little: Farrah Cuellar is the owner of Sears in Ruidoso Downs and has grown her children’s boutique into a showcase for unique clothes, handmade woodwork and vinyl products. Farrah also creates and hosts bridal and baby showers and birthday parties. The booth at the Zia Festival will be themed around children’s gifts and apparel.
Lipsense: April Carman is an independent distributor for SeneGence, a long-lasting lip color product, “Lip Sense”. SeneGence has a full line of skincare and cosmetic products that provide anti-aging benefits and are designed to promote and renew skin grown.
LuLu Snacks: Creates unusual cocktail fruit drinks including “crazy pineapple” with fresh fruit and candy, alcohol free Bloody Mary drinks with shrimp and beef jerky. Lulu also features Fresca drinks and many other fresh fruit snacks.
Nuts r Us: Nuts R Us sells rich quality cinnamon glazed nuts for your taste buds. Products are gluten free and contains no oils while cooking. They have 4 ingredients; water, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and the nut of your choice (cashew, almonds, and pecans).
Old Barrel Tea Company: Connor with Old Barrel Tea offers unique selections of loose leaf tea and spices. There are three other shops in Ruidoso, Cloudcroft and Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Over the Top Treasures: Linda and Judy Shirley are part of a three generation family owned business that has evolved from an antique store started in the late 1990’s to a handcrafted treasure store. They have unique treasures, such as beadwork, stained glass, hand-forged knives, wooden crafts, jewelry, and much more are influenced by our life-long journey as native New Mexicans.
Pasta More: “Our barrel aged balsamic is 18 years old,” said owner Gloria Blair. “”We have a dozen flavors or vinegars and olive oils. The flavored pasta is a favorite of our customers. The booth will be offering samples of all their products at the Zia Festival.
Paul Turner Concessions: Paul Turner will be located just outside the tent with some great items to cool you off on these hot summer days. Homemade fresh squeezed lemonade, multi flavored snow cones and large root beer floats served in a chilled giant glass mug that is yours to take home.
Pepper Springs Out West: Ronnie and Jennie Hanson offers high quality dip mixes using only the finest ingredients. They also offer Cactus Jelly and salt water taffy like you remember when you were a kid.
Pepitos Shop: Jose Chavira offers Mexican-made blankets, ponchos, sarapes and jewelry from across the border.
Rodan & Fields: Lisa Martin will be bringing a dermatology inspired skincare line.
Romo’s Crafty Creations: Brittany and James Romo will be offering customizable apparel, accessories, décor and much more. They are a new business and thrive to designing exactly what their customers are looking for.
The Redheaded Outlaw: Jakayly Sealy has created a unique handmade wild rag business. Wild Rags are not just for cowboys anymore. The business carries over 80 unique prints and fabric types. They can be pretty and practical, dress them up or dress them down. Life’s too short to wear a boring wild rag. Stop by and let her show you how you can wear them and enjoy them.
The Red Roan: Corinna Casler brings us new and vintage western style clothing, jewelry and gifts. The Red Roan where pretty meets punchy.
The Thrifty Cowhand: Stephanie Avent comes to us with cowboy clothing, jeans, pearl snap shirts, t-shirts , functional women’s clothing and caps. This cowboy’s wife started her small business, while looking for top quality clothing that was practical, functional and American made as much as possible.
The Queens Southern Charm: This is a mother-daughter team who own a boutique of affordable “southern charm” merchandise in all shapes and sizes with styles Zia Festival goers will love.
Rust and Rhinestones: Stephanie and Chance Black have been creating handmade wooden crosses since their wedding day. They offer standing crosses, purses, handbags, jewelry, clothing and plenty more with New Mexico flavor.
SD Photography: Danielle Rush offers the chance for you to turn your dreams into treasured memories. Have you always wanted to be part of a fairytale, join the circus and as far as you can dream. Anyone from a newborn to a senior, from a single or family, she can make your dreams come true and capture those special moments for you to look back on for many years to come.
Santana’s Black Label: Louis Santana has created an award winning gourmet food company that specializes in World- champion Angus beef jerky, cocktail mixes made with roasted Hatch chiles. They also carry Unique cowboy coffee. They are a major sponsor for the PBR, the western lifestyle and various other sports.
Star Dog Smoothies: Don Taco creates a non-alcoholic drink with a blend of Hispanic culture and serves it in a Mexican pottery cup. This is a one-of-a-kind cocktail that is new to the Zia Festival.
Shanto and Cradleboard Ranch: Fred Resler sells traditional Native American jewelry, silk scarves, Navajo rugs and western-style art.
Shalom & Toys: This New Mexico family started going to shows with a small table selling fidget spinners for children. Eventually the family business began offering even more toys for children of every age.
The Farmer’s Daughter Metal Art: Debbie Hernandez is a small town business and artist whospecializes in metal and home décor. She also welcomes custom orders.
Uradisciple: Tona Pettigrew is the regional supplier of Urad Conditioner, considered the #1 leather conditioner on the market imported from Italy. It works great on boots, belts, saddles, and any western leather in your home.
Wildorado Silverworks: All jewelry is hand-cut from antique silver coins with each piece having the mint date listed on the back. The dates are 1964 or earlier since that was the last year silver coins were minted with 90-percent metal. Each authentic piece is American history.
Zia Knives: Les Purcella creates custom handmade knives; all of the knife components are handcrafted. Many of the blades are engraved with wildlife and livestock scenes. The unique handles are created with a wide variety of exotic woods.
Zoo Lou’s: Stephanie Perkins specializes in full size women’s clothing ranging from custom made baseball shirts to full-lace dresses. She also custom designs and manufactures purses made from leather, ostrich, cow hide and saddle blankets. Everything is one-of-a-kind including a wide selection of jewelry and accessories.