Ruidoso hosts festival of lights

Compiled by Kevin Wilson: Freedom Newspapers

For most people — and anyone who enjoyed National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation — a big part of the holiday season is the variety of lighting displays. A few hours down U.S. 70, Portales and Clovis residents can enjoy the lights of homes and businesses in nearby Ruidoso, and perhaps catch the slopes as well.

What is it?
The festival of lights runs throughout the holiday season as part of the Ruidoso’s Christmas Jubilee, which started Nov. 11. According to the Ruidoso Chamber of Commerce, the streets, businesses and residential buildings are decorated with thousands of lights until the end of the year.

Where is it?
The festival is mostly in downtown Ruidoso, though some residents on the outskirts of the city may choose to have a festive display as well.

How to get there:
The trip from both Portales and Clovis stays on U.S. 70 for the duration of the trip. Portales drivers can plan a 165-mile trip one way, Clovis drivers about 190 miles. Assuming a rate of 70 mph, a driver will need just under three hours to arrive.

When to go:
You’ll obviously want to be in Ruidoso during the night to see the full effect of the lighting, but some may prefer a little bit of daylight to view the scenery on the road from Roswell to Ruidoso. If this is you, you’ll want to leave a little before 4 p.m.

What to expect:
Mainly a light display. The festival, in its fifth year in Ruidoso, has a series of other events that have already passed. Among the more notable events for the festival were the Parade of Lights, a Holiday with Santa Claus and the $125 per plate Starlight Ball Dinner and Dance.

However, skiing is available at Ski Apache after a delay of two weeks. A day-long trip could start with skiing and end with a view of the lights.

You might not like:
The cold. Ruidoso is in a more elevated area that is suited for skiing, so the temperature might not be to some people’s liking. Travelers would be wise to bring a few dollars for hot beverages.

Ruidoso Chamber of Commerce, (505) 257-7395 or 800 253-2255.