ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Tickets for the always popular Luminaria Tour will go on sale in two weeks.
The tour begins and ends at the Albuquerque Convention Center and takes you through Old Town and the Country Club neighborhoods.
This year, tickets will go on sale Nov. 24 at 10 a.m. Last year, they sold out in less than four hours.
KRQE News 13 asked the city if the demand is so high, why not just run more buses? Officials said the area is already pretty crowded on Christmas Eve, and adding more buses would be impractical.
The neighborhoods around the country club and Old Town were quiet Monday, but on Christmas Eve thousands of visitors will fill the streets for the city’s most popular holiday attraction.
“You move into the area then it’s an automatic that you decorate your home with luminarias,” said Evelyn Barela, a Huning Castle resident.
Evelyn Barela said she and her family put out about 500 luminarias every year.
“We put them on the sidewalks, we do it up the driveways, we do it on the fences, and we do put some on the house,” Barela said.
It’s a Christmas Eve tradition the neighborhood is proud to host.
“There was a lot of buses going up and down our street. A lot of pedestrians and that’s really festive,” said Alex Boyd.
Right now, ABQ Ride offers six tours through the neighborhood with buses running every 20 minutes or so.
“We sell 3,600 tickets, 600 tickets per six tours,” said spokesperson Rick DeReyes.
Yet, despite the proven popularity of the tour and the strong sales, ABQ Ride officials said they don’t plan on adding extra buses, which comes as a relief to some of the hosts in the area.
“They’ve sold out faster and faster. Last year they sold out in 3 hours and 45 (minutes),” DeReyes said.
“We love all the people but we could do without the buses. They’re kinda noisy,” Boyd said.
The city knows their concerns about traffic and noise, which are reasons for limiting the buses and the times they run. DeReyes also said adding buses to the tour would increase maintenance time on Christmas Eve.
“So what we are trying to do is get them early enough in time to get them prepared for service on December 26,” DeReyes said.
Officials said they did look at shortening the 45-minute route in order to fit in more tours, but they opted not to because they didn’t want their riders to feel shortchanged. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 24 both online and at the box office, giving those with and without computers the same opportunity to buy tickets and partake in a treasured tradition.
The cost for the tour is only $3.50 per adult. Children 10-18, seniors age 62 and up, and persons with disabilities pay only $2.20. Children 9 and under are also free when accompanied by a paying adult.
Tickets can be purchased at HoldMyTicket box office at 112 Second Street SW. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
To buy tickets or to view a map of the Luminaria Tour route, click here.