Thousands of illuminated luminarias, hand-filled sandbags with lighted candles, will line the streets of Albuquerque during the annual Luminaria Tour on Dec. 24. (Courtesy photo)
By Helena Rodriguez: Freedom Newspapers
For a dose of well-lit Christmas spirit, take a drive to Albuquerque for the city’s annual River of Lights or Luminaria Tour. Get tickets for each beforehand, though. The events have become popular holiday sellouts.
River of Lights is held nightly through Dec. 30 at the Rio Grande Botanic Garden. The holiday spectacular is New Mexico’s largest walk-through light show and features a dazzling array of lighted sculptures. In addition, live Christmas entertainment is scheduled nightly. River of Lights will be closed on Dec. 24 and 25.
As for the Luminaria Tour, it is a one-day-only event held Dec. 24 with the first tour beginning at 5:20 p.m. and the last tour scheduled to start at 7:15 p.m. The Luminaria Tour is a twinkling ride through downtown spots in Albuquerque that are brightly lined with the Land of Enchantment’s traditional, hand-lit luminarias that create spectacular sights for miles.
The tour includes a ride through the city’s historic Old Town, the Albuquerque Country Club and other luminaria hot spots.
— For more information about River of Lights, which is being staged at The Rio Grande Botanic Garden, call 764-6280.
— For more information about the Luminaria Tour, call 243-RIDE.
— Admission to River of Lights is $6 for adults and $2 for children ages 3-12. There are no senior discounts. Advance tickets may be purchased from any BioPark cashier or buy tickets online at
— Admission to the Luminaria Tour is $6 a seat. Children ages 4 and under are free as long as they do not occupy an additional bus seat. Tickets can be purchased at Alvarado Transportation Center, First and Central streets in Albuquerque, or online at www.tix.com. Just type in “Luminaria” under the keyword search. Tickets will be e-mailed.
— Compiled by Helena Rodriguez