One of Albuquerque’s favorite holiday traditions, the Old Town Holiday Stroll, returns to the historic district on Friday, Dec. 2 from 5 to 9 p.m. The lighting of Albuquerque’s largest Christmas tree showcased in Plaza Don Luis at 6:15 p.m. marks the beginning of the holiday season in Old Town.
The tree lighting ceremony, hosted by KOB 4’s Steve Stucker, starts at 6 p.m. Manzano Day School will perform followed by the presentation of colors by the Volcano Vista High School Air Force ROTC. After a blessing by Father Andrew J. Pavlak from San Felipe de Neri Church, Mayor Richard J. Berry will lead the countdown to the tree lighting.
Presented by the City of Albuquerque’s Cultural Services Department, in partnership with the Old Town Merchants Association, this year’s Holiday Stroll will feature live music from 30 community volunteer groups. To get everyone in the holiday spirit, choirs, bands and carolers will entertain strollers at 10 locations throughout Old Town. Of course, a holiday gathering would not be complete without Santa, who will be available for whispered wishes and photos at Plaza Vieja.
Old Town’s 150 shops and galleries will be the perfect place to do some holiday shopping. An important part of the Old Town Holiday Stroll is fundraising for a worthy cause. This year’s recipient is Boys & Girls Club of Central New Mexico. Visitors may purchase buttons which allow them to take advantage of special deals and discounts at participating shops and galleries throughout Old Town.
Spreading the fun and excitement into the surrounding area, strollers will be treated to free admission to the Albuquerque Museum, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science and Explora, where live entertainment and specials will be part of the celebration.
The New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science will screen Polar Express for $6 in the DynaTheater. Children can take a picture with Santa and/or Stan the T. Rex.
Visitors to Explora will discover discount shopping and free cookies and cider at Ideas, the Store at Explora. Great deals will offer 10% off all gift shop items and a 20% discount for members of Explora, New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science and Albuquerque Museum. This is a great opportunity to find and purchase creative, quality toys and other items for gift giving.
The Albuquerque Museum will feature Sherri and the Ex’s performing in the Ventana Salon. The gift shop will offer a 10% discount. Fun crafts for the whole family include making Christmas ornaments, pop-up holiday cards and traditional Victorian holiday banners.
Getting there will be easy with the Old Town Holiday Stroll Park & Ride shuttles from the lot at 18th and Bellamah to the Albuquerque Museum parking lot and there are several parking lots adjacent to Old Town. ABQ Ride’s #777-Rapid Ride/Green Line and the #66-Central will be going past midnight on Central next to Old Town.