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As seen in the newspaper: Holiday Events

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Many have asked for a re-run of the list of holiday events that was published in the Nov. 27 Journal. So, here you go. You may want to keep it handy if your spirit wanes in the coming weeks. And, if you have an event you’d like to promote, go to our online calendar page.


From mariachis to luminarias, many area events will boast the special Southwestern flavor that only the Land of Enchantment can provide. Here is a sampling of what’s going on.

Light displays

12th annual River of Light. Albuquerque Bio Park. Admission to the River of Lights is $7 for adults, $3 for children ages 3 to 12. There are no senior or member discounts because the program is a fundraiser for the park’s BioVan educational outreach program, which visits elementary schools free of charge. Advance tickets may be purchased from any BioPark cashier or online at RiverofLights.html.

The display runs from 6-9 p.m. Nov. 29-Dec. 30 (closed Dec. 24-25). Animated animals, fantastical creatures and stunning sculptures light up the night, enhanced with live entertainment from local choirs, holiday nature craft programs, hot foods and beverages, the G-scale model railroad running, shopping and more.

The public also is invited to take a spin on a 22-foot by 36-foot ice rink in the Botanic Garden plaza. Skaters must supply their own skates, but there is no charge to use the rink.

The artificial ice rink will be open the same hours and days as River of Lights. Children age 12 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.

On-site ticket sales for the River of Lights start at 5:30 p.m. and end promptly at 8:30 p.m. Call 764-6280 or visit educationlights.html.

While you’re there, consider having Supper with Santa at the Shark Reef Cafe Dec. 11-23 and Dec. 26-30. Call 848-7182 for reservations.

One of Albuquerque’s favorite Christmas light displays, which traces its humble beginnings to a front yard, has a new home at Menaul School.

After spending several years outside the city limits, the Bugg Lights will again be within easy reach of most residents.

For more than 30 years, Norman and Joyce Bugg collected and built a front yard display with more than 200,000 lights that attracted thousands of people to their Northeast Heights home. Penguins, Eskimos, Snoopy, Raggedy Ann and Andy twirled, spun and glittered their way into the hearts of young and old.

Five years ago, the display moved to the Traditions Festival Marketplace between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. The marketplace preserved and added to the display, but that property recently was sold, and the Bugg Lights again were on the move.

Menaul School, 301 Menaul Blvd. NE, was among more than 20 applicants that hoped to host the display, and after numerous interviews — including a campus visit — the Buggs selected the school to carry on their well-lighted legacy, according to a school news release. “This is truly a community event, a part of the holiday season for at least two generations of Albuquerqueans,” Lindsey Gilbert, Menaul’s president and head of school, says in the release. Menaul has planned several special events in conjunction with the light display, beginning with a musical extravaganza and a lighting ceremony honoring the Buggs on opening night, Nov. 28. Admission is free. Donations from visitors to the display will be used to offset costs and to help fund the school’s annual Mission Week, during which each class is involved in a community service project. Entry onto campus is through the main gate on the north side of Menaul, east of Broadway. Here’s a breakdown of the display’s hours: Opening night, Nov. 28, 5-10 p.m. Lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. Nov. 29, 5-10 p.m. Nov. 30, 6-9 p.m. Dec. 5 and Dec. 6, 5-10 p.m. Dec. 7, 6-9 p.m. Dec. 11, 6-9 p.m. Dec. 12 and Dec. 13, 5-10 p.m. Dec. 14, 6-9 p.m. Dec. 17-Dec. 24, 5-10 p.m.

Luminaria tour

For many families, Christmas Eve isn’t complete without the Old Town Luminaria Tour. The soft glow from sand- and candlefilled paper bags warms hearts no matter how cold the temperatures.

Tours depart from the University of New Mexico Pit parking lot at 5:20, 5:45, 6:10, 6:50, 7:15 and 7:40 p.m. Cost is $7 a passenger; children age 5 and younger ride for free. Tickets go on sale Nov. 28. Call 243-7433 or visit

Arts and crafts festivals

The 20th annual Fine Arts and Crafts Show in Corrales runs Dec. 5-7 at the historic Old San Ysidro Church, 966 Old Church Road. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Call 897-3942.

Shoppers will find pottery, fabric arts, weaving, jewelry, traditional New Mexico art, dyed and painted silk, contemporary Native American pottery, wood carvings and wooden bowls, folk art, decorative eggs, dried natural arrangements, pen and ink on sandstone, geodes and rocks, etched glass and stained glass, cut paper and homemade jams and jellies.

“For Christmas decorating and shopping, this is one of the best places to shop for all your giftgiving needs,” says show publicity chairwoman Debbie Clemente.

Also in Corrales, the Holiday Art Festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 28-30.

Sponsored by the Corrales Society of Artists, the event will be staged under a heated tent at the Rec Center’s front field along Corrales Road and features affordable and collectible arts and crafts by local artisans.

Call 898-2840 or visit for information.

Seasonal performances

“Miracle on 34th Street,” Nov. 28-Dec. 21, at the Albuquerque Little Theatre, 224 San Pasquale SW, is a charming classic about a small girl’s belief in Santa and the magic of Christmas.

Call the box office at 242-4750 or visit Tickets are $22 for adults and $20 for seniors.

“The Nutcracker Ballet”

with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, the time-honored traditional holiday ballet, comes to life Nov. 29-30 and Dec. 6-7 at Popejoy Hall on the UNM campus.

It’s Albuquerque’s only traditional presentation of this fully staged fantasy ballet as the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and New Mexico Ballet Company join forces.

Children and adults alike will enjoy the magical storybook world created by the Nutcracker’s costumes, choreography and music. Tickets range from $11 to $40, with a 20 percent discount for children age 12 and younger, and 20 percent off for groups of 20 or more. Call 881-9590 or visit

Keshet Dance Company’s 12th annual “Nutcracker on the Rocks” is an original rock ’n’ roll rendition of the holiday classic, incorporating the music of James Brown, Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones and Janis Joplin. It also includes the roaring excitement of a Harley-Davidson on stage.

Dancers of all ages, experience levels and physical abilities dance alongside Keshet’s professional repertory dancers and guest artists.

Performances run Dec. 5-7 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center, 1701 Fourth St. SW. Tickets are $16-$28; children age 5 and younger get in for half price. Call the cultural center box office at 724-4771 or visit and all TicketMaster locations.

Performances run 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 5; 2 and 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 6; and 2 and 6 p.m. on Dec. 7.

Ballet Repertory Theatre presents “The Nutcracker,” an enchanting world of dancing snowflakes, mice and toy soldiers.

Performances are at 7 p.m. Dec. 13 and 2 p.m. Dec. 14. Also, 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 20 and 2 p.m. Dec. 21 at the KiMo Theatre, Fifth and Central. Tickets are $15-$25 with discounts for children age 12 and younger, seniors age 60 and older, college students with ID and groups of 10 or more.

Christmas Eve performance and tea reception, 1 p.m. Dec. 24, tickets $20-$30 with discounts available.

One-hour shows for school field trips are scheduled for 10 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. on Dec. 16 and 10 a.m. Dec. 17. Call 888-1054 or visit

“Mariachi Christmas,” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9, stomps onto the Popejoy Hall stage for its 10th annual performance.

The air fills with ringing horns, swirling dresses and vibrant violins as Mariachi Internacional Guadalajara and Ballet Folklórico Paso del Norte join forces to create a cultural spectacular. Tickets are $25-$41. Call 925-5858 or visit

Bah, Humbug! Don’t miss “Scrooge The Musical” at Musical Theatre Southwest, 6320-B Domingo NE, weekends, Dec. 12-28. Tickets are $20, $18 for students and seniors, $16 for those under 16.

A spectacular musical extravaganza based on Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” this timeless show is packed with memorable songs and classic characters. Call 265-9119, or visit Box office hours are 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, and noon-3 p.m. Wednesdays.

“A Very Merry Pops” promises to be “warm, wonderful, full of smiles, nostalgia and memories,” according to the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra’s Web site.

Join the symphony for an evening of favorites, including “Silent Night,” “Joy to the World,” “Sleigh Ride,” “Ave Maria,” “White Christmas” and many more. Performances at 8 p.m. Dec. 19 and 2 p.m. Dec. 20 at Popejoy Hall. Tickets are $10-$60. Call 881-9590 or visit

Tomaseen Foley’s “A Celtic Christmas” takes place at 4 and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21, also at Popejoy Hall. Take a peek at a night in the west of Ireland when neighbors gather round the fire to grace the long wintry night with the laughter of their stories, joy of their music and dancing to the fiery music of the bodhran, fiddle, tin whistle and the uillean pipes.

Tickets are $28 to $45. Call 925-5858 or visit

For sports lovers

No holiday season is complete without sporting events.

For football fans, the third annual New Mexico Bowl on Dec. 20 is a new pigskin tradition.

Tickets for the 12:30 p.m. game at University Stadium are available online at, the UNM ticket office at The Pit, or by calling the Lobo Ticket Office, 925-LOBO, or the Bowl office, 925-5999. Prices are $23 and $30. Football teams from the Mountain West Conference and the Western Athletic Conference will be nationally televised on ESPN.

And finally, only in New Mexico could you build an entire run around little candles in paper bags.

The New Mexico Farolito 5K on Dec. 14 gives runners and walkers a chance to celebrate the season by running along a trail of lights together and then pigging out afterward. It starts at 5:30 p.m. at Albuquerque Academy, 6400 Wyoming Blvd. NE, and follows roads and pathways within Academy property.

Participants share special holiday eats and treats at the finish and can buy luminarias for $5 a dozen afterward. Cost is $10 for the Kids’ K; $15 for age 18 and younger for the 5K run/walk, and $20 for 18 and older. Call 856-9377 or visit


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