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Sunday, May 19, 2024

See you downtown for Red Dirt Black Gold

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As Artesia prepares to celebrate our 8th annual Red Dirt Black Gold festival, several of the community’s event planners have been reflecting on the years of planning that have gone into creating a fun event for everyone.

It all started in 2013 when community volunteers applied to the state requesting Artesia be considered as an Arts & Cultural District. Back then, the state program was only five years old and we made the case that Artesia, although a relatively small rural community, had a lot to offer in terms of creative arts.

After we were awarded the designation, community members came together and worked in focus groups with program directors from the state Arts & Cultural Districts program. The requirements included creating a signature event. It seemed obvious … we wanted to celebrate our history with oil & gas and the people who built the industry and make our community great. What would draw people together? Great music.

While we all collaborated on ideas, the name came from previous Artesia MainStreet manager Rebecca Prendergast. Red Dirt equals great music that started right here in the Southwest. Black Gold equals the oil that has flowed from the ground around Artesia for a century.

Red Dirt Black Gold was born and volunteers went into high gear planning. Artesia MainStreet, Artesia Arts Council, Artesia Chamber of Commerce and many sponsors and volunteers worked tirelessly to create a fun event that would bring locals together and encourage visitors from around the region.

While several activities have taken place at the festival over the years – Oilfield Olympics, Oilfield Cookoff corn hole, Kids Zone, and more – one thing has always been consistent… great music … for free. We’ve proudly hosted big names in the Red Dirt world including Turnpike Troubadours, Whiskey Myers, Cody Canada and the Departed, William Clark Green, Bart Crow and more.

This year we’re excited to bring you Red Dirt legend, the Randy Rogers Band, along with Sunny Sweeney, Justin Kemp Band, and Two of a Kind. Free music all evening long. Join us for food vendors, kids activities, corn hole, and brews in the beer garden by Drylands Brewing of Lovington, NM. Help us keep the tradition of Red Dirt Black Gold going. All you gotta do is show up!

See you downtown this Saturday, September 30. Music starts at 5:00!

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