What will the Mother's Day card you choose have to say?
"A mother's happiness is like a beacon, lighting up the future but reflected also on the past in the guise of fond memories," waxed Honore de Balzac, the 19th-century French writer.
Maybe, "If at first you don't succeed, try doing it the way mom told you in the beginning." (Unknown).
However you celebrate the mothers in your life, and whether your voice is sentimental or sassy, one sure-fire way to make their weekend the best of the year is to go to the 17th annual Lowe's/Super Save/Food King Mother's Day Music Festival, presented by LMNOC Broadcasting and the town of Taos.
Since 2000, the festival has grown into a multiday event that attracts the best regional bands and an attendance that can approach 10,000 visitors from across the West. But one thing hasn't changed: the small-town, family-friendly atmosphere that encourages grandparents, parents and children to come out and enjoy the music and the fun.
Some take in the whole smorgasbord; others pick and choose to see the return of their favorite bands. Yet however one approaches the wealth of musical offerings, a great time is ensured.
Zeke and Mary Tapia, of Zeke's Auto Supply, said, "The Mother's Day concerts have always been a big hit with our family and friends. We have relatives that come from as far as Pueblo, Colorado, to enjoy the weekend."
Their daughter, Sandra Tapia, concurred. "We've been going since it started and, yes, it's a big hit. We get to hang out with our family, and I get to see old friends while listening to Mezcal and all the other great bands," noting that visiting relatives plan months in advance to secure their hotel rooms.
This year's festival kicks off on Friday evening (May 11) with a lineup celebrating the best of classical and contemporary rock. Beginning at 5 p.m., New Mexican bands Hartless, Traveler in Pain, Revolution Radio, the Julian Lucero Band and Bone Mama will take the stage.
At noon Saturday (May 12), the stage again comes alive with Los Blue Ventures, El Grupo Mezcal, Smooth, Vero y Su Dulzura, La Gente, Simpatico, Ernestine Romero and a solo performance by Julian Lucero.
El Grupo Mezcal y Los Blue Ventures are the featured performers at the Saturday night after-party to be held at the Sagebrush Inn and Suites. Doors for the over-21, 8 p.m. show, will open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 and are available at the door, at holdmyticket.com, or at the LMNOC stations, located at 827 Paseo del Pueblo Norte.
These two popular bands promise an evening of first-rate music and dancing. Mezcal is clearly a Taos favorite whose music reverberates with anyone who connects with true New Mexican soul.
And, the renowned band, Los Blue Ventures, has been honored over the last decade with numerous "best of" awards from the New Mexico Hispano Music Association.
The finale on Sunday (May 13) also begins at noon and features a rousing showcase, including Candace Vargas and Northern 505, Severo y Grupo Fuego, Jerome Grant, Gonzalo, Dwayne Ortega, the Dave Maestas Band and Marissa Sandoval.
Gates for all Kit Carson shows open one hour before performance times.
The weekend-long event at the park is free; however, wristbands are required for entrance on all three days. They are readily available at the 30 combined locations of Lowe's Market, Super Save, Food King and Questa's Stop and Go.
Chris Muñoz, owner of LMNOC, said, "We've got food vendors coming from across New Mexico and Colorado -- too many to name -- and we've got our long-standing sponsor, Budweiser, being joined by Enchanted Circle Brewing, along with a variety of soft drink vendors. There will be plenty to eat and drink all weekend."
Noting the intricacies of staging a major live event such as this, Muñoz gave a shout to his dedicated staff and others who make the festival a success after months of planning.
"The staff of LMNOC is happy to continue this Taos tradition, which remains a free event thanks to the town (of Taos), our many sponsors, and the generosity of the bands who perform. Their fan base also should be recognized for keeping the Mother's Day festival such an enormous success," Muñoz said.
"This has become the Taos way to celebrate mothers here and to also recognize the cultural backbone of this community," he continued.
More information and updates on the festival are available on the free LMNOC app, said Muñoz, noting the app also livestreams Thunder, MIX 106.5, Radio Exitos 99.1, True Country KKTC-FM, The Mountain 95.9 and Voice of Truth AM 1340.
Our mothers are the link between our present and our past and also the voice of "I told you so." We love them and look forward to celebrating their place in our lives during this epic weekend.
Kit Carson Park is located at 211 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, at the Civic Plaza Drive intersection. The Sagebrush Inn and Suites is located at 1508 Paseo del Pueblo Sur. For more information, go to lmnocbroadcasting.com.