Farmington, New Mexico
By Valarie Tom, Ron Goulet and George Joe
Farmington is a border town on the north edge of the Navajo Nation and has a population of 45,877. The surrounding communities of Aztec and Bloomfield, Kirtland and Fruitland increase the population to 115,000. According to the 2010 census, the Native American population in Farmington is 22%. Navajos shop in Farmington on weekends, and at times this brings the population to over 150,000. There are several predominantly Navajo communities within 30-minute radius: Kirtland, Waterflow, Shiprock, and Fruitland. The Navajo name for Farmington is Tóta, which translates to “The Meeting Place of Water.”
Prior to the signing of the Treaty of 1868 between the United State government and the leadership of the Navajo people Historically, traditionally, and literally, Farmington was Navajo land and was an area of rich farming for Navajo people to grow crops and hay. As non-Navajo settlers came into the area to ‘settle’ the region, the Navajo people were pushed further westward, southward, and northward of their ancestral homelands. Farmington was renamed by the new settlers in homage to the rich growing soil and abundant, clean waters from the Animas, La Plata and San Juan rivers. Today, Farmington, is a diverse city with many tourist options, and is culturally rich in diversity and inclusive living.
What to See and Do
Farmington Museum – Experience a wide variety of exhibits relating to the diverse history of the area’s cultures, traveling exhibits, and art shows. Lecture series, performances, workshops, and special demonstrations are offered year-round. Exhibit-related bookstore.
Historic Downtown Farmington Walking Tour
RiverWalk – You can walk by the river or jog for a few miles. Be prepared for mosquitoes, however.
Three Rivers Brewery – Multi-award-winning brews and unforgettable food. Try their Drunken Steak, or their onion rings, or any of their beers. The food here is great.
San Juan College – http://www.sanjuancollege.edu/ The College has a lot of events and cultural activites. The College’s Native American Center provides a lot of activities for students and the community.
Pinon Hills Golf Course – owned and operated by the city of Farmington and designed by Ken Dye, Pinon Hills has been ranked in the Top Municipal Golf Courses by Golfweek Magazine for several years.
Civitan Golf Course – Course is a Par 3 course
Check out all of the golfing opportunities in Farmington:
Riverside Nature Center and Nature Trail – Observe birds and animals from large windows overlooking a wetland where food and water attract wildlife. Exhibits feature the plants and animals of the riverside.
Berg Park – https://www.fmtn.org/198/Parks-Facilities
City of Farmington Aquatic Center – The Aquatic Center provides indoor water recreation for the whole family, year round.
Farmington has several mini-plazas and one mall with anchor stores like Dillards, JCPenny, and Sears. Various national chain stores are in business as well as some arts and crafts stores. Navajo arts and crafts stores and antique stores are mainly located in old town historic Farmington.
Connie Mack Baseball Tournament – Farmington is known across New Mexico and throughout the southwest for its baseball tournaments, and Ricketts Park is the home of the Connie Mack World Series
Riverfest – Area rivers are celebrated with a festival of music, fine arts, food, entertainment, a 10K and 5K run and walk, riverside trail walks, and river raft rides.
Totah Festival – Talented Native American artisans are juried into this annual festival celebrating the craftsmanship and friendship of regional artists. Totah Festival features a weekend of fantastic food, a contest Pow-Wow, Cultural Dance Expo and the popular authentic Navajo Rug Auction. The 2018 festival will be held at the Farmington Museum.
San Juan County Fair – At McGee Park, featuring livestock shows, a parade, vendors and an excellent selection of live musical performances. The San Juan County Fair will be held August 13th to 18th, carnival to open August 11th to 19th.
Outdoor Summer Theater – Enjoy an evening of live entertainment under the stars in the natural sandstone amphitheater at Lions Wilderness Amphitheater. Performance held every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening from June 21st to August 4th 2018. The 2018 production will be the Broadway Musical, Mary Poppins!
The Natives usually go to Three Rivers Brewery, or Northern Edge Casino on weekends. But you will find a lot of Natives hanging out at Blush/B-Lounge on weekends.
Farmington Indian Center
The city has an Indian Center where locals go for information and assistance. They also hold a number of events for Natives who live in the area.
Northern Edge Casino
While in Farmington, go to the Northern Edge Casino. It’s one of the newer Navajo casinos, and unlike the Arizona casinos, you can play Roulette there. The casino also has a small bar which on weekends is busy with entertainment – usually Navajo musicians or entertainers. During the summer months, they also have outdoor concerts.
San Juan College
San Juan College is the Four Corners’ comprehensive community college, which improves lives by providing people an affordable education for a successful future and career. San Juan College is a dynamic institution offering advanced technology and facilities, with supportive educators who respond to the changing needs in today’s diverse marketplace by delivering relevant, high-quality education.
San Juan College offers two-year degree and certificate programs, non-credit community learning classes, and workforce training. In addition, the college partners with state universities to offer both bachelor’s and master’s degrees on campus.
About 30% of the students at San Juan College are Native Americans. The College usually has a lot of entertainment and activities. Visit their website at: http://www.sanjuancollege.edu/news-and-events/calendar/
Tequilla’s restaurant is a nice Mexican seafood place. Everything on the menu is good. Then there are the usual chain restaurants. Try Si Senor, always a lot of people there. There is a Chinese restaurant called Archer’s – that is pretty good too. Another local favorite is St. Clair Winery & Bistro. Try their locally-produced wines while you are there.
Courtyard Marriot is a great place to stay and next to the Riverwalk. There are some other hotels near the mall which are pretty good.
Farmington 7-Day Weather Forecast
Dial 911 for Farmington Police or emergency services. Non-emergency (505) 334-6622.
Dial 911 for emergency services. Nearest hospital is San Juan Regional Medical Center, 801 W. Maple, Farmington, New Mexico, (505) 609-2000
Visitors Bureau Website