Since 1934, or earlier, the city of Española has celebrated the Fiesta de Valle de Española. The main festivities occur near mid-July each year and is a remembrance of the founding of Santa Cruz de la Cañada, one of the earliest Hispanic settlements in the United States (founded in 1598) and the merging of the three main cultures that are predominant in this region, that of the Tewa Indians, the Hispanics and, later, the Anglos.
The festival begins in mid-June with the dubbing of Don Juan de Oñate and the coronation of La Reina at a mass held at El Santuario de Chimayo. Don Juan de Oñate is attended by his court of young conquistadores dressed to represent the time period of the late sixteenth century when the lands of northern New Mexic were explored by Don Juan de Oñate and claimed for Spain. La Reina (the Queen) is attended by her retinue of princesses including a Native American princess chosen from the surrounding pueblos.
In the ensuing weeks the fiesta royalty and their attendants perform acts of kindness throughout the valley such as helping at senior centers, participating in fundraising events and visiting local businesses. The fiesta ends with a three-day celebration featuring a parade, various family events, a final Sunday mass and a Grand Ball.