SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Just like so many other holiday traditions this year the Christmas Eve Farolito event on Santa Fe’s Canyon Road will look different. The Farolito Fest along Canyon Road in Santa Fe is a Christmas Eve tradition that can’t be matched in New Mexico. However, instead of thousands of people strolling on foot, people are asked to gaze at the decorations as they cruise by in their cars.

“It’s just a way to showcase our businesses to people who don’t really make the trek down to Canyon Road usually,” said Carlos Acosta, the Co-president of the Canyon Road Merchant Association. “But it’s just a beautiful event and tradition that we try to do every year.”   

Acosta said the Canyon Road Farolito Fest is one of the most magical events of the year, with an average of 20,000 to 30,000 people strolling throughout the mile-long stretch along Canyon Road. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the city is still hoping to carry on the tradition but will require people to stay in their cars to view the spectacle.

“I think it will be a traffic jam,” said Jim Arndt, co-owner of Nathalie. “But no, it will be interesting, I think it will be nice because everyone’s still lighting up. We’re having our farolitos out in front.”

Arndt said most businesses will be closed during the event itself because people will be in their cars and because of the capacity limits in stores under the state’s restrictions. He also said most of the businesses will be open during the day and hopes a lot of customers will come in before the event to give the businesses a much-needed boost.

The event starts on Christmas Eve night at 5:15 p.m. and will end at 8:30 p.m. The city said the Farolito Fest will start on Paseo de Peralta and go up through Canyon Road. Residents and visitors should expect closures along the side streets. 

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