The holiday season is here and it is only fair to say that El Pasoans have a unique style of celebrating.
Despite temperatures in the 60’s with no sign of snow this fall, El Paso still makes the best out of the sunny weather. According to a study by WeatherUnderground.com, last year the average temperature was 60 degrees with no snowfall at all.
So how do El Pasoans make themselves get in the holiday spirit? Besides the family atmosphere El Pasoans celebrate, the city makes its greatest efforts to plan daily activities that people can enjoy for the course of the winter.
Sure, the Starbucks holiday cups, the month-long Christmas music played on radio station Sunny 99.9, the early retail sales of Christmas decorations, and the lighting of a digital Christmas tree on the Wells Fargo Building get the people in that holiday mood. But these following public events add a hint of chocolate mint to their Christmas cheer activities:
1. Fred Loya’s home light show– Insurance magnate Fred Loya has hosted annual Christmas light shows for years and attracts more and more people every time. This tradition continues every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 6, 7, and 8 pm with free cookies and hot chocolate at the end of the show. Mr. Loya’s house is located at 120001 Paseo de Oro on the eastside of town across from Montwood High School. Free parking is available at the school and at the Cross Point Church next to Loya’s street. The light show is scheduled to start in Dec. 1.
2. Eastridge Lights– The Eastridge residents also have participated for years displaying their homes with beautiful and extravagant Christmas décor. About 60 homes throughout the area display their bright lights and seasons’ greetings all through December and families can either walk by or drive through. These homes are located off of McRae, turning right into Eastridge.
3. San Jacinto Tree Lighting– Every year, a 30-foot Christmas tree is decorated, and lit up in the heart of El Paso. The lighting of the tree is popular and significant to El Pasoans. San Jacinto Plaza lights up the whole downtown area with season décor and people can take a walk through the scenery. Enjoy some snacks or hot chocolate at ‘La Placita Café’ while enjoying the beautiful views.
4. Trans Siberian Orchestra– Though the Trans Siberian Orchestra is not free, people still go out and enjoy a night of music to enhance their holiday cheer. The Don Haskins Center at the University of Texas at El Paso hosts this orchestra annually with tickets as low as $54.
5. Winterfest Ice Skating Rink– The skating rink is downtown near the San Jacinto Plaza. The rink is decorated under purple lights and feels as cold as snow. The rink opens in the middle of November and is open to the public through Jan. 1. General admission is $8, and $5 for children under 5. Season passes are also available for as low as $35.
6. Promenade Ice Pond– The Fountains at Farrah Mall also provides an ice skating rink for shoppers to stop by at their convenience. Adult passes are $10 plus a skate rental fee of $3. For children under 5, the passes are $5. If you are a student, your skate rental fee is free! Come out and enjoy some shopping, ice skating, and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the fully holiday decorated mall.
7. Free holiday movie showings at Plaza Theatre– 2017 will be the second year El Paso Live and the El Paso Classic Film Festival will partner up to show movies as part of Winterfest. Movies include “Elf”, “The Polar Express”, and “Frozen”.
8. Hyundai Sun Bowl– Last but not least is the annual bowl game. These games take place at the Sun Bowl stadium at UTEP with pregame activities starting at 11:30 am. There is also a Fun Zone Activity area for kids outside of the stadium. Tickets start as low as $41.