BELEN, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s a longtime New Mexico holiday tradition that’s been in Valencia County for nearly a decade.
Once again, the famous “Bugg Lights” are looking at another change in scenery. This season will be the last in Belen. “This year, we are going to have one last hurrah here in Belen,” said Museum Curator Ronnie Torres.
Right underneath a water tower in Belen lies a spot that holds plenty of holiday memories for many New Mexicans. “When people have come, they actually been to a lot of the different locations,” commented Torres.
For almost a decade, the Bugg Lights have been lighting up Belen miles away from where the display first started in Albuquerque.
Now, the lights are facing another move. “We called the Bugg family and asked them if they liked to have the original pieces back, and they said they would,” said Torres.
In 1971, the Bugg family started the light show at their Northeast Heights home. The display eventually started drawing major crowds to the neighborhood leading to the first move.
From a Santa Fe shopping center to Albuquerque’s Menaul School to the Harvey House Museum in Belen, and finally, the Bugg Lights Museum.
This year will now be its last in Belen. Museum Curator Ronnie Torres said the decision wasn’t easy. “[It’s] extremely hard because what we didn’t want to do is let down the citizens of Belen, but there comes a time when you get old, and you get tired, and you have to say, ‘I’m done,’ and we wanted to stop while it was still flourishing,” said Torres.
The original pieces from the collection will go back to the third generation of the Bugg family. Torres said he’s just happy to be able to have been a part of something positive.
“I’m glad that, as the City of Belen, we are able to be part of the Bugg family legacy and that’s what we are proud of,” said Torres.
The Bugg Lights will reopen on Saturday at 5 p.m. in Belen. KRQE reached out to the Bugg family to see what they plan to do with the display next year but did not hear back.