Canyon Road Farolito Walk & Christmas Eve in Madrid
The Canyon Road Farolito Walk on Christmas Eve is a candlelit community party at which you never stand still for long. Caroling is spontaneous, dogs and babies are bedecked in glow-stick necklaces, and biscochitos are free-flowing. Warmly dressed walkers arrive at dusk to sip hot cocoa and cider. Bonfires stud the street and the adobe buildings of Santa Fe’s famed gallery district are festooned with farolitos — tea lights set inside of paper bags, weighted by sand, that are a traditional New Mexico Christmas decoration. The mood is boisterous, yet respectful, as neighbors, cousins, and co-workers recognize one another in the orangey glow, calling out greetings while weaving their way along narrow sidewalks and in and out of warmly lit alleyways and courtyards. About 30,000 people are expected this year — as is wintry weather. Be prepared to park some distance away from the start of the walk, which begins at the corner of Canyon Road and Paseo de Peralta.
For those looking for a mellower but still quintessential Northern New Mexico experience, the village of Madrid, located south of town along State Highway 14, offers some quirky charm. This one-time ghost mining town revived by artists celebrates Christmas Eve with a general open house all day on Saturday, Dec. 24, during which stores and businesses have refreshments and holiday cheer on hand. In the evening, the colored lights come on and the locals gather to listen to live music at the Mine Shaft Tavern. For more information on the Canyon Road Farolito Walk, go to www.visitcanyonroad.com. To learn about Christmas Eve in Madrid, go to www.visitmadridnm.com. — Jennifer Levin