Christmas Eve Farolito Walk on Canyon Road in Santa Fe

Christmas Eve in Santa Fe

By G G Collins (Copyright 2013)

Farolitos Line the Roof of La Fonda copyright G G Collins

Farolitos Line the
Roof of La Fonda
copyright G G Collins

It’s Christmas Eve and you’re in Santa Fe. Sunset is fast approaching and the air is frosty. There’s only one thing to do: wrap up warmly and go to the Canyon Road Christmas Eve Farolito Walk.

Forget trying to park. Stay at a nearby hotel or B & B. Otherwise prepare for frustration trying to park. There will be street closures and partial street closures. Last year Santa Fe Trails offered shuttles from the South Capitol Station for $2 round-trip. Check with them for service this year.

Notice the farolitos (brown paper bags with sand and a votive candle) lining the street and sidewalks. Now, in Santa Fe these are called farolitos, but much of New Mexico refers to them as luminarias. To further confuse the issue, in Santa Fe we call bonfires luminarias. Okay, don’t sweat the details; just enjoy.

This can be a shoulder-to-shoulder event with up to 30,000 people—and their dogs—descending on Canyon Road. Santa Fe’s art centre lives right here and many of the galleries will be open late; doorways of yellow light inviting you in. I absolutely love this yearly procession. You never know what surprise waits to delight you. Most of these are provided by the parade you are a part of; people and dogs draped in Christmas lights. Canine friends may be outfitted with antlers in addition to the brightly colored lights. They don’t seem to mind. There’s always a new take on costuming for the Farolito Walk.

Farolito Walk in Santa Fe

Farolito Walk in Santa Fe (Photo credit: feverblue) Creative Commons

Impromptu carolers burst into Christmas songs and spirituals. Music erupts as drummers pound their instruments marching the length of Canyon Road. Notes float across the cold air from a harp or flute gently reminding you of the season. The galleries, shops and restaurants along the narrow thread are decked out with festive lights and bright red bows. It’s a sensory experience of light, sound and delicious scents.

But don’t leave out taste. To warm up, stop and get a coffee, hot chocolate or cider. Usually one can find cookies for munching—you’ll need energy to walk uphill. Take a few moments and warm your hands at a nearby bonfire, and keep going.

When the lights fade and the music stops, just turn around and do it all over. And when you reach the end of Canyon Road, savor the experience, because it will be another whole year before it happens again. This is Christmas Eve in Santa Fe.

— G G CollinsCopyscape Do Not Copy

Links to YouTube videos of the Christmas Eve Farolito Walk on Canyon Road:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XdVRZ2MGjlM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEJLNPDBRkc

Whatever holiday you celebrate, may it be happy and peaceful.

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About G G Collins

Writer of Paranormal Mystery Series, Cozy Mystery Series, Teen & Young Adult Fiction. Reporter. Blogger.

Posted on December 21, 2012, in About, Arts, History, New Mexico, On Location in Santa Fe, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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