Thousands of people gathered in downtown Santa Fe on June 15 to celebrate the opening of the newly redesigned DeVargas Park and Skate Park. The FANTASE Fest was a community event incorporating creatives, nonprofits, businesses, and governmental partners. The first annual FANTASE Fest celebrated the completion of the first phase of the larger Parque del Rio, envisioned as an urban linear park running along the length of the Santa Fe River. The completed phase features new sidewalks, grassy areas, additional trees, permanent seating, a ramada and a newly reconfigured skate park and urban plaza.
Food, music, dancing, skating, biking, the Rodeo Parade, break dancers, yoga classes, fire fighters, a flash mob of local chefs, and families with strollers and dogs were all part of the celebration. Kids on bikes and skateboards ruled the day starting their celebration at 6:00 am and jamming on past midnight. Interactive light installations by four local artists, and supported by a generous contribution from New Mexico Arts, lit up the night sky.
After spending much of the day at the park, Santa Fe artist Larry Fodor said, “Downtown Santa Fe is not just for tourists. It is also for the people that live in this incredible city and the FANTASE Fest is absolute proof positive events can be organized that cater to our entire population — so that everyone can enjoy the underused and re-structured parts of downtown Santa Fe.”
The cultural diversity that embodied the FANTASE Fest was unmistakable. “The full event had moments of true humor, whimsy, delight, and disco… surrounded by the widest range of Santa Feans I have seen together in over twenty years,” said Suby Bowden, Principal of Suby Bowden Associates. Young Fathers of Santa Fe wrote to Creative Santa Fe, “Youth culture got a big hug yesterday (June15th) in Santa Fe, NM and it was beautiful.”
Thank you to our collaborators: City of Santa Fe, New Mexico Arts, National Dance Institute, and the Santa Fe Opera