Let There Be Light

One of the La Alma/Lincoln Park neighborhood’s most beloved holiday traditions, Luminarias de Santa Fe Drive, brightened up the now-chic stretch of Santa Fe between 5th and 12th avenues for more than seventeen years, beginning well before the street became the Art District on Santa Fe — a First Friday lightning rod and formal urban-arts mecca. But the Southwest-inspired community lights went out a couple of years ago, taking their surrounding activities — including a mash-up of strolling mariachis, carolers, Aztec dancers, a roaming Santa Claus and a Las Posadas procession — with them.

The good news is that the community organization NEWSED is bringing back the rows of sack lights this year and the accompanying hoopla on the street, with help from other neighborhood organizations and businesses.

“Before, it was just NEWSED organizing the luminarias every year,” says spokeswoman Andrea Barela. “We thought it should be more of a business-corridor effort, and we were tapped out in the sense that we were doing it independently. This year, we’re doing the legwork to bring it back. We’ve purchased hundreds of new luminarias — sturdy electric ones that won’t blow away and that give off a nice glow. The old ones were too cumbersome, and some needed to be replaced."

Enjoy the renaissance! Stroll Santa Fe and celebrate tonight from 5 to 9 p.m.; businesses and galleries throughout the district will be open and beckoning to revelers and shoppers alike. Find more information at newsed.org.
Fri., Dec. 12, 5-9 p.m., 2014

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd