ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Twinkle Light Parade has been named one of USA Today’s top 10 holiday parades in the nation, and now one Albuquerque neighborhood association wants it moved back to where it originally began: Downtown.
“There’s a long stretch that is just great to host a parade and it’s right there in the iconic area of our historic district of Nob Hill,” Adrian Carver said.
Carver is the president of the Nob Hill Neighborhood Association. He said there’s been some push for the last several years to move the parade back downtown.
In 2012, the annual Twinkle Light Parade was moved to Nob Hill from downtown. The city’s Cultural Services Department said it simply “outgrew” the downtown area. They said the decision to move it to Nob Hill was “due to wider streets and larger viewing areas to accommodate the increasing crowds.”
“The downtown area really needs the Twinkle Light parade,” Ron Casias said. “It was taken away from us by the previous mayor.”
Casias is the president of the Silver Platinum Downtown Neighborhood Association. He’s asking the city to re-consider moving the parade back downtown where it used to make its way from Tingley Drive to Civic Plaza.
The city said it faces too many challenges when considering to move it back.
One of them? The River of Lights at Albuquerque’s Botanic Gardens runs at the same time. A city spokesperson said in years past, the traffic for both events caused a major backup in the downtown area.
Casias maintains it can be done.
“We can accommodate a large Twinkle Light Parade, it’s better than any other geographical corner of the city,” he said.
However, neighbors in Nob Hill aren’t willing to give it up without a fight.
“There’s everything from breweries to clothing shops, to all kinds of awesome businesses that are struggling because of the ART project,” Carver said. “We would hate to see this event leave our neighborhood.”
Last year the event drew in nearly 50,000 people and the route stretched a mile long. The city said the side streets along Nob Hill also help stage all the floats that stretch a half-a-mile long.
Casias said he just wants to see a vibrant downtown.
“We need to band together,” he said. “Every major metropolitan in the United States has a vibrant downtown except for Albuquerque.”
Those who live in Nob Hill are willing to work with him, but said giving up the parade is not an option.
“I think there is space for some really great, positive events and we would love to work with the Silver Platinum Neighborhood Association,” Carver said. “When downtown thrives then Nob Hill thrives and when all those neighborhoods are working together, our city can thrive.”