25 Reasons to Love Gallup

Friday, August 16, 2013

By Katy Barnitz | NM Magazine

Cleaved by historic Route 66 in the sprawling northwestern part of the state, this former coal-mining town once served as a bustling rail-construction outpost. The chug and whistle of trains still resound.

1. Paint the Town

Grab a guide map from the Gallup-McKinley County Chamber of Commerce, lead yourself on a tour of Gallup’s colorful downtown murals, and learn about the city’s culture and history through the eyes of its talented artists. Many of the murals are within easy walking distance of the Chamber, such as artist Richard K. Yazzie’s memorial piece The Long Walk, at the intersection of Third Street and W. Hill Avenue; and Zuni artist Geddy Epaloose’s tribute to Zuni life on the west wall of the Octavia Fellin Public Children’s Library, at 200 W. Aztec Ave. (505) 722-2228

2. Tribal Tradition

The 92nd Annual Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial takes place August 7–11, 2013. One of the nation’s largest gatherings of tribes, the event includes traditional food, dances, an arts-and-crafts expo, the Ceremonial All-Indian Rodeo, a talent competition, and the Miss Indian Ceremonial Queen Coronation. A highlight for many is the three-day competitive powwow. Dance groups from around the country gather in the arena to compete for prizes and titles. During the night parade, dance groups dressed in colorful regalia turn downtown Gallup’s streets into their stage. Street lamps and Route 66 neon illuminate the array of performances as locals and visitors pack the sidewalks, ready to cheer on the dancers. (Read “Legacy,” p. 76, for a 1932 report on the event). (505) 863-3896

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