Las Cruces – Governor Susana Martinez marked New Mexico's 99th birthday today, announcing ongoing plans for a 16-month commemoration to honor next year's Statehood Centennial.
"The Centennial is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for New Mexico to shine," said Governor Martinez. "We intend to take full advantage of this important moment to increase tourism, generate economic activity and bring positive attention to our state."
In addition to numerous exhibits, lectures and community projects underway statewide, educational efforts will engage young people in learning about New Mexico history, and envisioning the state's next hundred years. In November of 2011 Union Pacific Railroad will sponsor a series of special events with its historic vintage Steam Locomotive from Tucumcari to Lordsburg. In addition, an official Centennial hot air balloon has been donated by Rainbow Ryders of Albuquerque and will take part in select activities statewide.
"We are pleased to be working with scholars and historians, museum directors, schoolteachers, state agencies, businesses and leaders across the state to bring the Centennial to life," said Veronica Gonzales, Cabinet Secretary-designate for the Department of Cultural Affairs. "Everyone is invited to the Centennial - and we look forward to sharing our history, accomplishments and treasures with the nation and the world."