Old Town is festive for the holidays

By: Izabella Kubiak/ New Mexico News Port

On Dec. 1, historic Old Town kicked off its holiday season with decorations, lighting of the tree, and food for the month of December. During the holiday season, Old Town is a popular spot for New Mexicans. 

Old Town has been decorating the Don Luis Plaza and presenting the Christmas tree for 26 years. Old Town operates as a shopping pavilion for New Mexicans and sells local artists’ work. 

Old Town’s Plaza Don Luis annual Christmas tree photos by Izabella Kubiak

A University of New Mexico graduate student, Alyssa Montoya, says her favorite tradition is walking and shopping in the plaza with her family. 

“Every year, my mom and dad make it a big part of our holiday season. We all take pictures in front of the tree and grab hot chocolate on the plaza,” Montoya said.  “Sometimes my mom buys ornaments from local stores and we send our family in New Orleans things from New Mexico.”

A prominent store during the holidays is Old Town’s ‘The Christmas Shop.’ The shop sells New Mexico goodies, like green Chile and Native American jewelry, but also works from local artists. 

Chase DeVargas and his wife McKinsley were traveling through historic Route 66, and it was their first time in Albuquerque. They both enjoyed the decorations and culture of Old Towns ‘The Christmas Shop.’

Old Town’s ‘The Christmas Shop’ photos by Izabella Kubiak

“Walking around I haven’t seen anything like this,” said DeVargas. “I feel immersed in a new culture. I’ve never experienced Horchata or green Chile or any of this stuff but I’m so glad we decided to stop by the pavilion.”

Some New Mexicans and first-time visitors, like Ryan Lebanc, appreciate sweets offered for the Holiday season at ‘Senor Murphy’s Chocolates and Sweets’ and ‘The Old My Ice Cream Parlor.’ 

“I am actually on a trip to visit my girlfriend’s family and Senor Murphy’s has the best piñon clusters I’ve ever had,” LeBlanc said. 

 LeBlanc is traveling from Evans, GA, with his girlfriend Kayla to visit her family and is impressed with Old Town’s holiday festivities. 

“I was surprised because Old Town looks much smaller from the street,” said LeBlanc, “but I couldn’t have been more wrong. You can take memorable pictures, eat some good food with good people, and of course, drink.”

The Don Luis plaza is decorated with the annual Christmas tree, red and green wreaths, and tightly made bows over archways. 

New Mexicans can enjoy hot chocolate, ice cream, candy, and homemade chocolate clusters and sweets at Señor Murphy’s at the plaza.  

Devargas and his family plan to travel to New Mexico next year and make a stop at Old Town, an annual thing. 

Artists ornaments for purchase inside Old Town’s ‘The Christmas Shop’ photos by Izabella Kubiak

“I was so impressed by the little stores along the street, ” Devargas said. “I think my wife and I will be coming back next year. I think we are going to buy a lot of ornaments from the shop this year and next to send to friends who have never been to Albuquerque.