Ready or not, the 2023 El Paso Christmas season kicks off with the Scherr Legate WinterFest Parade of Lights.
Each year, the WinterFest Lights Parade draws more than 55,000 spectators ready to celebrate the holiday, even before Thanksgiving.
Opening Day festivities will begin at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, November 18, with the San Jacinto Plaza Arts and Farmers Market downtown, followed by a program that leads with the traditional tree lighting ceremony at 4:30 p.m. .and the actual tree lighting at 6 p.m., followed by the WinterFest Lights Parade.
“Scherr Legate is honored to sponsor WinterFest with the City of El Paso,” Scherr Legate Law Firm partners Jim Scherr and Sam Legate said in a release. “El Paso’s wealth comes from our beautiful, strong families, and we are proud to celebrate with each and every one of you.”
The city’s only parade of lights, celebrating its 28th anniversary, will sparkle with more than 55 community entries made up of illuminated floats, marching bands, dance groups and flashing walkers winding through downtown El Paso.
The parade will begin at the corner of Campbell Street and Texas Avenue in downtown El Paso. It runs from San Antonio Avenue to North Mesa Street, then Main Drive to Stanton Street and ends near the intersection of Mills Avenue and Campbell Street.
The evening will begin with the First Armored Division Band at San Jacinto Plaza. The St. Anthony Franciscan Choir will also perform.
Here are other events to know about as part of the city’s WinterFest plans.
Enjoy the holiday lights at San Jacinto Plaza
San Jacinto Plaza will be lit up with over 500,000 mini-lights, huge decorations and a 55-foot holiday tree all season long. The Plaza lights will be on daily from 5 to 11 p.m
Visitors are encouraged to take photos and use WinterFest hashtags: #EPWinterFest and #AImElPaso.
Enjoy the ice rink
WinterFest will feature an outdoor ice rink in the plaza at the El Paso Convention Center from November 18th to January 1st.
The rink will feature family programming, live entertainment and local vendors seven days a week. Skating sessions will be 50 minutes long.
Hours: 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 10 p.m. Sunday, starting November 18. Holiday hours: Thanksgiving from 5 to 10 p.m., Christmas Eve from noon to 5 p.m., and Christmas Day from noon to 10 p.m.
Tickets: General admission is $10 for children age 6 and older, $5 for children five and under and $7 for military with ID and first responders with ID. All-inclusive tickets are $20 for a 50-minute skate session, a 50-minute Glacier Guide session and a Sun City Express boarding pass. Group tickets are $8 each for groups of 10 or more.
Skating tickets can be purchased at www.EPWinterFest.com/The-Rink
The Glacier Glide ice rinks are new to WinterFest 2023
New this year will be the Glacier Glide ice rinks in the Arts Festival Plaza between the El Paso Museum of Art and the Plaza Theater. Additional attractions include the Sun City Express on the boardwalk, weekend performances by local bands and entertainers during the holiday season, and photos with Santa sponsored by GECU.
Visitors can stroll along the decorated Paseo de las Luces, which has festive holiday decor.
Holiday entertainment at El Paso International Airport
El Paso International Airport will have a special celebration on Dec. 7 at 6701 Convair Road, as well as holiday performances throughout December. Stay tuned for more details.
Holiday movies at Downtown’s Plaza Theater include Elf
The El Paso Community Foundation presents holiday films at its Plaza Classic Film Festival this winter at the Plaza Theatre.
The holiday movies, which are free, will be shown at the Plaza Theater and extend to the El Paso Museum of Art. Part of WinterFest, the film series begins on November 26th and continues on various days through December 24th.
No tickets required. Seating is first come, first served. Holiday movies at the Plaza Theater will be presented in Plaza Classic style, including a 30-minute performance by Richard Garven on the Wyler Mighty Wurlitzer Pipe Organ before each movie.
Here’s the holiday movie schedule:
November 26 at Plaza Theater Kendle Kidd Performance Hall:
- 13 hours: The Nightmare Before Christmas (PG)
- 3:30 p.m.: Alone at home (PG)
3 Dec at the Plaza Theater Kendle Kidd Performance Hall
- 13 hours: Elf (PG)
- 3:30 p.m.: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (PG-13)
December 9 in El Paso Museum of Art EP Energy Auditorium:
- 15 hours: The Miracle on 34th Street (Not Rated)
DEC. 16 at the El Paso Museum of Art EP Energy Auditorium
DEC. 21 at the Plaza Theater Kendle Kidd Performance Hall
- 13 hours: Polar Express (G)
- 3:30 p.m.: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (PG)
DEC. 24 at the Plaza Theater Kendle Kidd Performance Hall.
- 13 hours: It’s a wonderful life (PG)
More ▼: Magic of Lights joins El Paso WinterFest 2023, promising a dazzling holiday wonderland
Maria Cortes Gonzalez can be reached at 915-546-6150; mcort[email protected], @EPTMaria on Twitter; eptmariacg on TikTok.