Je­mez to il­lu­mi­nate his­toric ru­ins Satur­day

Albuquerque Journal - - FRONT PAGE - BY ROZANNA M. MARTINEZ

Walk un­der the stars with tra­di­tional farolitos light­ing the way through the his­toric San José de los Jémez Mis­sion of Giusewa Pue­blo dur­ing “Light Among the Ru­ins.”

The event on Satur­day, Dec. 9, fea­tures about 1,500 farolitos, or lu­mi­nar­ias, lin­ing the ru­ins and the mis­sion at the Je­mez His­toric Site.

“(Guests) will walk to­ward the ru­ins there and San José de los Jémez Mis­sion Church and the path­way, which is 1.5 miles,” said Erica As­mus Otero, com­mu­ni­ca­tions direc­tor for the Vil­lage of Je­mez Springs. “Most of it is lit with the farolitos. My un­der­stand­ing is the pue­blo had vol­un­teers. The his­toric site gets vol­un­teers who help out with the farolitos and lay them out, and

then the Je­mez Pue­blo dancers will per­form and play Na­tive Amer­i­can mu­sic around the bon­fire. It’s a spir­i­tual event. It’s a great thing to see. It’s a very sen­sory ex­pe­ri­ence.”

The event was born in 1996 when Tanya Stru­ble got to­gether with about 10 mem­bers of the com­mu­nity and put farolitos along the walk­ways of the Je­mez State Mon­u­ment, which is now the Je­mez His­toric Site. Stru­ble has been on var­i­ous com­mu­nity boards and in­volved in com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions. She also co-owns the Je­mez Hot Springs.

“The idea stemmed from a 1968 is­sue of New Mex­ico Magazine (Stru­ble) came across about how Je­mez Springs used to dis­play hand­made cutouts of Santa and the Na­tiv­ity all over the vil­lage and around Soda Dam,” As­mus-Otero said. “She says she wanted to bring back that hol­i­day tra­di­tion and had lo­cal artists make new cutouts.”

“Light Among the Ru­ins” has grown big­ger each year. Last year’s event wel­comed 3,200 peo­ple. That is triple the amount of visi­tors it had usu­ally got­ten in the past, ac­cord­ing to As­mus-Otero, who is ex­pect­ing more this year.

Visi­tors can catch a com­pli­men­tary shut­tle to and from the site be­tween 3 and 9 p.m. at Je­mez Val­ley Com­mu­nity Park. Park­ing will be avail­able at the park, with over­flow park­ing nearby at the Je­mez Val­ley Credit Union, Madonna Cen­ter and Je­mez Plaza. Visi­tors are asked not to park along N.M. 4. Hand­i­capped guests can park at the site.

The fun be­gins be­fore the sun sets with the Pub­lic Academy of Per­form­ing Arts, which will play a free Christ­mas con­cert from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at the Fitzger­ald Cen­ter across from the Je­mez His­toric Site. Arts and crafts, and food ven­dors will be on hand be­gin­ning at 3 p.m. at the Je­mez Val­ley Com­mu­nity Park. The Je­mez Val­ley High School band will per­form hol­i­day songs in­ter­mit­tently from 5 to 7 p.m. Je­mez Moun­tains Elec­tric Co-op, which is an event spon­sor, is help­ing take the chill out of the even­ing. It will have a “Warm Up Tent” equipped with heaters for guests to get warm while en­joy­ing tra­di­tional Christ­mas songs.

New this year are the “Let Your Light Shine” glow-in-the-dark bracelets, pro­vided by the In­dian Pue­blo Cul­tural Cen­ter. Buy­ers of bracelets will be served bis­co­chi­tos and hot co­coa at the park. Bracelet hold­ers also will re­ceive flash­light key chains and a “Spring up to Je­mez Springs” dis­count punch card. Bracelets are $2 for ages 13 and older. There are 1,000 bracelets avail­able for pur­chase at the park start­ing at 3 p.m.


Visi­tors to the his­toric ru­ins of Giusewa Pue­blo and San José de los Jémez Mis­sion Church at the Je­mez His­toric Site stroll among more than 1,000 farolitos out­lin­ing the ru­ins dur­ing “Light Among the Ru­ins” ush­er­ing in the hol­i­day sea­son north of Je­mez...

Dancers par­tic­i­pate in the “Light Among the Ru­ins” near Je­mez Springs.

More than 3,000 visi­tors at­tended the 2016 ‘Light Among the Ru­ins’ at the Je­mez His­toric Site.

“Light Among the Ru­ins” has been cel­e­brated for more than 20 years.

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