One of the holiday events that kicks off the festive season is the annual Holiday Stroll in Old Town. Every year, the event brings together shoppers and luminarias, hot chocolate and entertainment, for a lively evening of fun. Best of all, the event is free.
The giant Christmas tree in San Luiz Plaza is lit during the Holiday Stroll, an annual tradition that helps start the Albuquerque holiday season. The tree is actually a conglomeration of many live Christmas trees placed in a center structure so that each tree becomes a "branch." Visitors marvel at the giant "tree," which is lit at dusk.
What began as a way to raise funds for charities and renew interest in Old Town has become an annual tradition. Funds this year are designated for The Storehouse of Greater Albuquerque, the largest food pantry in the state.
Live music and dance will be on hand. Enjoy carolers, dancers and a variety of entertainment all evening long. Luminarias will light your way.
Park for free at 18th and Bellamah and take the shuttle to the museums and Old Town.
Limited parking is available in nearby paid lots, and Rapid Ride buses will stop at Central and Rio Grande, one block away from the event.
The shopping event for 2013 runs from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, December 6.
San Luis Plaza Entertainment Schedule
- 5:30 p.m. Color Guard and national anthem sung at the Gazebo
- 5:40 p.m. Performance
- 5:55 p.m. Blessing of the giant Christmas tree, San Luis Plaza
- 6 p.m. Greetings from Dignitaries
- 6:05 p.m. Welcome by Henry and Karen Aceves, owners of Plaza Don Luis
- 6:10 p.m. Lighting of the giant Christmas tree, Livecast
- 6:15 p.m. Santa parade with the man himself, around the Plaza
In addition to the opening festivities, there will be live entertainment all over Old Town. Shopping in Old Town during the Holiday Stroll has its bonuses. Merchants and restaurants offer discounts, so be sure to download the coupons for shopping that night. Find out where you can get fudge samples, where Santa's Village will be, and what the entertainment will be throughout Old Town.
The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science will have free admission during the stroll. Step inside to see their new Grossology exhibit, or take part in arts, crafts and other activities. Take a picture with Santa and Stan the T. Rex. Explora will have their lobby open for free special activities, and their gift shop will be open with extra discounts. Both museums will be open from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Both museums can be found at the intersection of 18th and Mountain.
Restaurants will be open as well as the many galleries and shops. One of our family's favorite spots to eat is the Romero Street Grill. And a great place to shop is the Christmas Shop, where there are sure to be singers outside the door, getting strollers in the seasonal mood.
Be sure to dress warmly. In addition to the shops, the San Felipe de Neri church will be open, along with restaurants and shops, for anyone who needs to get warm.