Holiday Twinkle Light Parade

December 4, 2014 by  
Filed under Holiday Events, Kids, Parades

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You’d have to be walking around with your eyes shut not to know about this already. But hey, we’re all busy people. Maybe you forgot about it. Or maybe you just flew into the Duke City and never knew about it in the first place.  This family-friendly event is a holiday favorite and a must-see for all.

This year the Twinkle Light Parade takes place on Saturday December 6, 2014 at 5:15 p.m.

Expect to see floats, lowriders, AFD fire trucks and classic cars, equestrian clubs – even a small train – all dressed up for the holidays. The City of Albuquerque reckons there will be more than 1,000 walkers, plus all the usual high school marching bands I love watching. The bands are always festive and smart, and the kids are so very brave as they march through the cold.  Santa Claus and Mrs Claus usually roll by in the Twinkle Light Parade too. (Santa, of course, is used to the cold.)

The Twinkle Light Parade starts glitzing with more than 300,000 twinkling lights at 5:15 pm on December 6, traveling west along Central Avenue from Washington Street to Girard Boulevard.  Bleachers will make it easier for everyone to watch the parade. The City of Albuquerque reckons that there are more than 90 floats (cars, horses, bicycles, anything they can gussy up with sparkly lights) in the parade this year.

I do so love this festive event, but dress warmly – I’ve nearly frozen my tootsies off watching the parade in previous years.  At time of writing, it’s looking a bit rainy out there, but the Twinkle Light Parade will sparkle on no matter what – it’s a rain or shine event.

–Tania


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Twinkle Light Parade & Nob Hill Holiday Shop & Stroll

December 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Holiday Events, Kids, Parades, Shopping

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You’d have to be walking around with your eyes shut not to know about this already. But hey, we’re all busy people. Maybe you forgot about it. Or maybe you just flew into the Duke City and never knew about it in the first place.

This year the Twinkle Light Parade and Nob Hill Holiday Shop and Stroll are both combined again in Nob Hill on the same day: Saturday December 7, 2013.

The Nob Hill Holiday Shop and Stroll runs from from noon to 10 pm on December 7, when everyone hobnobs in Nob Hill with street performers, mariachi groups, and carol singers to get us into the festive spirit.  They close Central Avenue off to cars between Girard and Washington between those hours, so pedestrians can wander at will along historic Route 66. Of course there are lots of shopping opportunities, with many boutiques staying open late, some stores offering discounts, and a lively atmosphere in the restaurants.

  • There will be photo ops with Santa Claus – he usually rolls by on the Twinkle Light Parade too.
  • A jolly trolley from Albuquerque Trolley Co. will run free shuttle rides along Central between noon and 4 pm.
  • Albuquerque Film & Media Experience will show a free outdoor screening (bundle up!) of the movie National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation at 7:45 pm. That’s at 3712 Central Ave, between Hermosa and Solano.
  • O’Niell’s Pub will serve free coffee and cider on the enclosed patio.

The Nob Hill Holiday Shop and Stroll map gives all the skinny and shows what’s happening where.

If you download the PDF of the Nob Hill Shop and Stroll program you’ll find a few coupons too, although not as many as in previous years.

  • 10% off one item at Gertrude Zachary
  • $10 off at Yanni’s Mediterranean Grill when you order two entrees (valid to January 1, 2014)
  • 10% off at Yanni’s new Lemoni Lounge (valid to September 1, 2014)

The Twinkle Light Parade starts glitzing at 5:15 pm on December 7, traveling west along Central Avenue from Washington Street to Girard Boulevard.  Bleachers will make it easier for everyone to watch the parade. The City of Albuquerque reckons that there are more than 100 floats (cars, horses, anything they can gussy up with sparkly lights) in the parade this year. I do so love this festive event, but dress warmly – I’ve nearly frozen my tootsies off watching the parade in previous years.

–Tania

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Twinkle Light Parade and Holiday Art Festival

November 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Events, Holiday Events, Kids, Live Performances, Parades, Shopping

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The Albuquerque Twinkle Light Parade takes place Saturday December 3, 2011, all nicely coordinated with the Downtown Holiday Art Festival on Civic Plaza that starts in the afternoon.

The Downtown Holiday Art Festival is yet another holiday shopping opportunity to buy from local artisans, plus Santa, and other activities for kids (last year it was jumps and face painting).  Shoppers can also enjoy free entertainment during the afternoon, before the sparkly and spangly Parade struts its stuff. I love that parade and had the greatest time last year, although my feet froze. (No blood flow south of my brains. Not much blood flow in my brains, come to mention it.)

In 2011, the Twinkle Light Parade goes backwards… by which I don’t mean that the floats and lowriders reverse along the route, but that they’re starting on Tingley Drive and ending up at Civic Plaza, which makes a lot of sense.  So here’s what to expect:

The Holiday Art Festival on December 3 runs from 3 pm – 9 pm at Harry E. Kinney Civic Plaza, and here’s the line-up of live entertainment:

  • 3 pm – West Mesa High School Chorus
  • 3:45 – Victorian Carolers
  • 4:30 – Valley High School Chorus
  • 5:15 – Harmonicats
  • 6 pm – Sandia High School Chorus
  • 6:45 – Catherine McGill
  • 8 pm – Albuquerque Concert Band

The Twinkle Light Parade starts glitzing at 5:15 pm at Tingley Drive/Central Avenue, proceeding east along Central, and turning on Third Street to end at Civic Plaza at around 8:30.

Obviously there will be disruptions to traffic access in the area, and it could be a bit of a bun fight getting there and finding area parking if you leave it too late. Expect to pay $6 at the City parking lots.

And if you have a donation of a new or gently used child’s coat to offer, the Department of Family and Community Services will be pleased to accept it at the Holiday Art Festival information booth from 3 – 9 pm, for Albuquerque families in need.

Don’t forget about the free Casa San Ysidro Noche de Luces event in Corrales. It’s also on Saturday evening between 5-8 pm and overlaps with the Twinkle Light Parade, so you’ll probably have to pick one holiday celebration or another, unless you have a handy sleigh to fly between the two.

–Tania

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Twinkle Light Parade and Holiday Arts Festival

December 3, 2010 by  
Filed under Holiday Events, Kids, Live Performances, Lodging, Parades

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The Downtown Twinkle Light Parade takes place Saturday December 4 this year, and new for 2010 is a Holiday Arts Festival on Civic Plaza in the afternoon, starting at midday.

The Downtown Holiday Arts Festival is yet ANOTHER holiday shopping opportunity to buy from local artisans, plus Santa, and other activities for kids like jumps and face painting. Naturally there will be food vendors, because who can shop without sustenance? Plus free entertainment during the afternoon, before the sparkly and spangly Parade heads off at around 5:30, just after the official lighting of Civic Plaza.

The Holiday Arts Festival runs from noon to 6 pm at Harry E. Kinney Civic Plaza, and here’s the line-up of live entertainment:

  • 12 noon – Sunshine Generation
  • 12:45 – Valley High School Choir
  • 1:30 – Mariachi San Jose
  • 2:15 – Buckerettes
  • 3:00 – Washington Middle School Choir
  • 3:45 – Fanfare Victorian Carolers
  • 4:30 – Joanie & Combo Special
  • 5:30 – Civic Plaza Holiday Lighting followed immediately by the Twinkle Light Parade. Participants will light up Downtown while competing for the best of parade awards fitting the theme Light Styles of the Southwest. (This I can’t wait to see!)

The Twinkle Light Parade route leaves Civic Plaza, going south on 3rd Street, then west on Central Avenue, finishing south on San Pasquale.  Central Avenue between 3rd and San Pasquale will be closed to traffic between 3 – 9 pm and it could be a bit of a bun fight getting there and finding parking if you leave it too late.

Expect to pay $6 at the City parking lots, and you can’t drive into the Civic Plaza parking garage after 5:30 pm when it closes for the parade. But, if you’re already parked there, Santa won’t hold you hostage. According to City info you’ll still be able to drive OUT of the garage…

I’m arriving early to be sure not to miss anything!

Don’t forget about the free Casa San Ysidro Noche de Luces event in Corrales. It’s also on Saturday evening between 5-8 pm and overlaps with the Twinkle Light Parade, so you’ll probably have to pick one holiday celebration or another, unless you have a handy sleigh to fly between the two.

–Tania

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I WISH YOU A GOOD LIFE.