Matanza August 25 to Celebrate Highlands 125th Anniversary

Las Vegas, N.M. – New Mexico Highlands will celebrate its 125th anniversary with a traditional matanza pig roast meal for the community and campus Aug. 25 at the university’s Leveo and Patricia Sanchez Family Stadium at 906 Baca Ave.

Matanzas have been part of New Mexican culture and history since the first Spanish conquistadors arrived in the area in the 16th century.

“A matanza hits all the right notes for our 125th anniversary: it’s a celebration of culture that will connect the community to the university with great food and great fellowship,” said Sam Minner, Highlands University president. “ I know this event will be a wonderful celebration for the university and all friends of HU. I can’t wait for the matanza.”

The Highlands matanza includes at least one pig and one steer slow roasted overnight in a pit in traditional matanza fashion. The side dishes include beans, posole, tortillas, chicharrons, chips and salsa, and dessert. There will be water and soft drinks.

The ticket prices for the community are $5 each, with children three and younger free. In order to prepare the right amount of food, the deadline for purchasing tickets is Aug. 15. Absolutely no tickets will be available for purchase after August 15 and absolutely no tickets will be sold at the gate.

Tickets are on sale at the University’s Foundation Office at 905 University Ave. from 8 – ­5 p.m. Monday ­­– Friday. Tickets are limited.

One complimentary ticket for each Highlands employee (staff and faculty) and each Highlands student is available if picked up at the Highlands Foundation by August 23. Please bring your Highlands ID to receive your complimentary ticket.

The matanza schedule includes:

-Gates open at the Leveo and Patricia Sanchez Family Stadium main entrance gate at 10 a.m.

-Entertainment will be from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., including a mariachi group and a variety of other musicians.

-The food service begins between 12 – 2 p.m. Serving ends at 4 p.m. and is on a first-come, first-served basis.

-Sara Mathews of Borracho’s in Las Vegas will operate a cash bar beer garden for those of legal age.

Vince Marchi is the president of the Highlands Alumni Association and is also a member of the Alumni and Community Relations Committee of the Highlands Foundation.

“I grew up with a political family and was privileged to experience many matanza celebrations in and around Northern New Mexico,” Marchi  said. “It’s a joyous time to come together like family to enjoy the tradition of a matanza as well as delicious food. Having a matanza for Highlands 125th anniversary is like a way of wrapping our arms around the a past. Times have changed, but mantanzas remain as an important tradition that has endured.”

Marchi said the Highlands matanza is an opportunity for alumni and old friends of Highlands to meet new friends, students, and faculty of the university.

“The ultimate goal of the matanza is a way to celebrate the university’s accomplishments of the last 125 years and extend a welcome to new members of the Highlands family,” Marchi said.

Juli Salman is the Highlands Alumni director and chairs the “H:125” anniversary committee.

“The committee remembered matanzas from years ago at Highlands that had enthusiastic community participation, and we’re hoping for the same response for our Aug. 25 matanza,” Salman said. “While we are celebrating Highlands’ 125th anniversary all year long, the matanza is the biggest single event.”

For more information about the Highlands matanza, call the Foundation Office at 505-454-3438.