Thousands are expected at the plaza lighting ceremony

Nov. 24 – City crews began preparations for the start of the holiday season in Santa Fe on Nov. 1 by hanging about 30,000 LED lights on the plaza’s trees.

Officials are hoping thousands of residents will gather at the downtown park Friday night to see Mayor Alan Webber flip the switch.

The annual Festival of Lights begins at 5:15 p.m. with live performances and refreshments. And just before the mayor lights up the plaza, The New Mexican will announce its 10 Who Made a Difference award winners for 2022.

The newspaper’s nearly 40-year-old holiday reward program honors people in the community who donate their time to make northern New Mexico better and stronger.

“We believe that at a time so often marred by difficulty and pessimism, emphasizing what is best in people’s hearts drives communities to excel and be their best selves,” Henry said Lopez, Creative Marketing and Digital Director of The New Mexican. “The City of Santa Fe was kind enough to let us incorporate the 10 Who Made a Difference into the plaza lighting.

“This grew out of an idea of ​​how to publicly honor these people in 2021, when COVID-19 was an even more pressing concern of people than they may be right now,” Lopez added.

He said this is the first time the newspaper has awarded 10 Who

Made a Difference Award posthumously. Michaelann Perea, a community volunteer, died while on a charity bike ride

7 Sep

“Including Michaelann Perea as our first posthumous honoree really felt right as she was undoubtedly one of the brightest stars of this community,” Lopez said. “The loss of her life is a loss for this whole community. Perhaps we can draw inspiration from their example.”

Perea’s family and others

The winners of 10 Who Made a Difference will take the stage at 5:45 p.m. Friday, following performances by the Bells of St. Francis, the Santo Niño Choir and the Legacy of Santa Fe Band.

The lighting ceremony is scheduled to begin at 6:15 p.m

Santa and Mrs. Claus are expected to appear on a vintage fire truck and provide Girl Scout Troop 10651 with hot chocolate and cookies.

City clerk Kristine Bustos

Mihelcic said food truck vendors will also provide refreshments throughout the event.

The annual celebration brought 6,000 to 7,000 people to the plaza before the pandemic, Bustos-Mihelcic said, and she hopes the city will match those numbers again this year.

“It’s so much fun community –

focused event,” said Bustos-Mihelcic. “We see so many families – so many. Just people who really consider it an annual tradition for themselves.”