Downtown Booming 2018
Downtown Las Cruces is open for business and more retail, dining and entertainment establishments are opening each month. As part of its recently launched Destination Downtown Campaign, the City of Las Cruces Economic Development Department, in conjunction with Visit Las Cruces, will be hosting a series of events in our downtown.
First Las Cruces Space Festival
April 12–14, Las Cruces will host the first Space Festival. The festival coincides with the 57th anniversary of the first manned flight.
Thursday activities include bottle rocket launches, star-gazing, a space talk and a special tech center, all of which will be taking place on the campus of NMSU. There will also be a free showing of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” at downtown’s Rio Grande Theatre.
Friday’s events include a space expo at the Mesilla Valley Mall, including a book signing by author Loretta Hall at Barnes and Noble. There will also be “Space Talks” with Suzie Imber and Stephan Reckie at Hotel Encanto followed by a free showing of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” at the Rio Grande Theatre.
Saturday’s events are centered on Downtown Las Cruces. At 2:30 p.m., a full-size replica of Spaceship II will be unveiled in front of City Hall. Spaceship II is Virgin Galactic’s spaceship that will be used to carry commercial passengers into space from nearby Spaceport America. Following the unveiling, there will be a Space Walk down Main Street to the Plaza. Participants are encouraged to wear costumes representing their favorite space characters. As the Space Walk comes to an end, all are encouraged to stay at the plaza for a late afternoon of games, education, and entertainment.
For information on the First Las Cruces Space Festival, log on to www.lcspacefestival.com or call Visit Las Cruces at 575-541-2444.
The Fun Continues – Las Cruces Purple Madness
Las Cruces is turning purple on April 27 and April 28. On Friday, April 27, the Rio Grande Theatre will be showing the cult classic, “Purple Rain.” The feature will start at 7 p.m. Admission is $8 and tickets can be purchased at the theatre or at www.riograndetheatre.org.
On April 28, Purple Madness, a tribute to Prince, will be held at the Plaza. This high-energy cover band has thrilled audiences throughout North America. The Prince Purple Madness Tribute Show has been labeled the closest looking and sounding Prince in the industry! Local artists Triple Jack will open the show. Following Purple Madness, party like its 1999 to your favorite hits of the 80’s. Tickets for the performance are $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. Tickets can be purchased at the Rio Grande Theatre or at www.visitlascruces.com/destination-downtown.
See the Movie and the Concert. Purchase the Purple Passion package for $20 online and get 2 full nights of entertainment. Don’t forget to wear your favorite purple gear for the entire weekend.
From Purple to Blues
Blue will be the prevalent color during the month of May. On Friday, May 18, the Rio Grande Theatre will feature the 1980’s classic, “Blues Brothers.” The film, starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, is a journey following the fictitious siblings Jake and Elwood as they reunite their band in order to raise money to keep the doors open in the old Catholic home where they were raised. The feature will start at 7 p.m. Admission is $8 and tickets can be purchased at the theatre or at www.riograndetheatre.org.
The following night, May 19, the Las Cruces Plaza will host an amazing Blues Spectacular. The show features national recording artists Ruben V, The Bel Airs, and Tracy Nelson. Ruben V has released 8 solo albums and continues to amaze audiences as an outstanding guitarist and soulful vocalist. Hailing from San Antonio, Texas; Ruben has shared the stage with many Blues Legends. Fronted by brothers Dick and Dave Pruitt on bass and electric guitars, with Michael Cherry on drums, the Bel Airs play a danceable mix with an authentic but eclectic bluesy-country-soul-and-rock-n-roll sound influenced by the likes of Wilson Picket, Slim Harpo, Howlin' Wolf, and Johnny Cash. Tracy Nelson first received acclaim as part of a San Francisco-based band, “Mother Earth,” where she was frequently seen at the world-famous Fillmore sharing the stage with Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Eric Burdon. She continues to be a major force in today’s blues music. In addition to a longstanding and successful singing career; her songs have been re-recorded by Linda Ronstadt, Etta James, and Cyndi Lauper.
Tickets for this performance are $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. Tickets can be purchased at the Rio Grande Theatre or at www.visitlascruces.com/destination-lascruces.
From Purple, to Blues, to Red Hot – The Las Cruces Coming Home Tour
There’s nothing hotter than a John Travolta 2-step; or 4 of Las Cruces’ very own coming home for one big show. On May 31, the Rio Grande Theatre will feature, “Urban Cowboy.” Starring John Travolta and Debra Winger, the 1980 film was a major box-office success, making mechanical bull-riding a national obsession. The feature will start at 7:00pm. Admission is $8.00 and tickets can be purchased at the theatre or at www.riograndetheatre.org. On June 2, the Las Cruces Plaza will present Coming Home featuring Alyssa Newton, Frank Ray, Bri Bagwell and Josh Grider all together performing for their home crowd. Alyssa Newton is a bright young artist just completing her sophomore year at Nashville’s Belmont University. In 2017, Alyssa Newton released her first single “Somebody Like You.” Frank Ray, a former member of the Las Cruces Police Department and local band Border Avenue, is beginning to receive high acclaim as he pursues his dream. Rolling Stone magazine named Frank as one of the rising Country Artists to watch in 2018. Frank recently released his first EP and continues to tour the country. Bri Bagwell continues to reign as the Queen of Austin. She has been voted for the 6th consecutive year as the top Female Vocalist in Texas Country. She has gained a following throughout the country as she grows and builds her successful career. Josh Grider In the past decade, Josh Grider has recorded 8 CDs, toured the country and abroad, and started a family. His newest release, titled “Good People,” has received high acclaim. Like Bri Bagwell, Josh is based in the Austin area and continues to build his fan base by writing great music and constantly touring.
Tickets for this performance are $15 in advance and $20 at the gate. Tickets can be purchased at the Rio Grande Theatre or at www.visitlascruces.com/destination-downtown.
Special Offer - 3 Shows for $30
Want to see all three shows at a great price? There is a special online offer to purchase Purple Madness, Cruces Blues, and Coming Home Tour for $30. This 3-show package is available online only at www.visitlascruces.com/destination-downtown through April 26th.
Destination Downtown is booming
There are many more exciting plans for downtown Las Cruces. In the next few months, Destination Downtown will have a new microbrewery, a comic store that will also sell ice cream, more restaurants, and entertainment establishments. If you haven’t been to downtown Las Cruces recently, now is the time to experience Destination Downtown.