The inspiration behind the River of Lights displays

River of Lights

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The River of Lights crew has created hundreds of sculptures throughout the years, but many question how do they keep coming up with new designs. The New Mexico BioPark Society says every year the team sits down and discusses how to expand what they already have.

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For example, Africa started out small and now includes a lion, hippo, and more. “When it first started out we had one little shed that had maybe four or five barrels of lights that went on the trees and on the buildings,” said Bucky Bomaster, a River of Lights crew member. “Now we’ve got 55 to 60 55-gallon drum lights.”

Now there are more than 200 miles of twinkle lights scattered throughout the garden. The crew goes through 100,000 zip ties each year. They also use miles of extension cords.

Executive Director Julie Miller Rugg also likes to get input from the public. She says she stands at the exit and asks guests what they think the display is missing.

This year, guests will see four new spectacular sculptures. The River of Lights runs from Nov. 27 – Dec. 30 (closed on Dec. 24 and Dec. 25). Tickets will be sold in limited quantities and online only.

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