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2017 'Celebration of Lights' guide

'Celebration of Lights' in 2016 (Credit: Facebook)

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in downtown El Paso.

Holiday lights and festive attractions are already happening. City officials will kick off the "Celebration of Lights" annual event Saturday.

The lighting ceremony followed by the parade will begin at 4:30 p.m. at San Jacinto Plaza. The parade will start at 6 p.m. after the lighting of San Jacinto Plaza. The parade route runs through downtown and includes marching units, bands, and lighted floats. Visitors can enjoy more than 400,000 mini-lights adorning 120 trees and a 30-foot holiday tower tree once the switch is flipped. The display and events will continue through January 2.

A few blocks away, the Downtown Art and Farmers Market special “Holiday Market” will be happening from from noon to 8 p.m. on the Pedestrian Pathway between Santa Fe and Durango and on Main Street behind the El Paso Museum of Art. Visitors can find unique gifts from the region’s talented artists and local food and treats. The market includes holiday crafts for children, live music and a food truck garden.

Also happening is the Parks and Recreation Department “Holiday Bazaar” from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. at the parking lot on Main Street across from San Jacinto Plaza. The bazaar includes a variety of holiday vendors, food, holiday crafts, and pictures with Santa on the stage at San Jacinto Plaza.

The Museum of History will also have activities including writing letters to Santa, making stamped ornaments and hot chocolate starting at 2:30 p.m. The Museum of Art will have extended hours with Indie rock band, SETS, performing at 8 p.m.

New this year, Mills Street and Sheldon Court between Oregon and Santa Fe will be part of the WinterFest pathway decorated with festive lights, archways and vendor booths and will be closed to traffic.

The downtown holiday season provides everything from shopping, outdoor ice skating, live entertainment, visits from Santa Clause, holiday movies and performances, and lights to a holiday café, delicious food.

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