ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – One of New Mexico’s oldest holiday traditions is returning after being canceled in 2020, it’s the Christmas Eve Luminaria Tour. For one night only, neighborhoods transform into a holiday light spectacular fit for New Mexico.

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After a year off due to the pandemic, the tour is making its return. Throughout one evening, thousands of people pack onto ABQ Ride busses to enjoy the luminaria-lined businesses in Old Town and homes in the Country Club and Huning Castle neighborhoods.

It’s been a popular event for decades. Stephanie Dominguez, the interim director of ABQ Ride, says there will be changes this year. “Masks will be required inside the Convention Center as well as on our buses,” Dominguez said.

However, the biggest change comes as a result of social distancing rules on city buses. “Previous years, I believe we had about 30-35 passengers a bus and this year we expect about 20-25 passengers on the bus,” Dominguez said.

That means, 1,100 fewer tickets will be available, dropping from 3,600 tickets in 2019 to 2,500 tickets for sale this year. In 2019, tickets sold out in just a few hours. Dominguez said they are expecting this year’s tickets to sell out quickly as well.

Even with smaller crowds, neighbors are getting ready and are excited about rebooting a holiday favorite. “Seeing the balloons and the luminarias, it’s just beautiful. Gets you in the holiday spirit,” said resident Alicia Fell.

Tickets go on sale Saturday at 10 a.m. Visit to purchase tickets.