Christmas is a time of love and joy, a time for giving and sharing, a time for making cherished memories that last for generations. In Aztec we express this through the Aztec Sparkles Christmas Festival. Held the 2nd Saturday every December, downtown Aztec is lit up for a community celebration of the holidays through activities and music.
Preparations of for the festivities begin after Thanksgiving, whereby City employees begin decorating Main Avenue and U.S. 516 & 550 with lights and ornaments. Businesses and residents participate as well by participating in the lighting contest which is held through the entire month of December.
The festival starts on a Friday with the Aztec Ruins National Monument presenting its annual Evening of Lights program. Highlighted by a spectacular lantern display in the Ancestral Puebloan ruins, the event includes cultural demonstrations, free cookies and hot cocoa, and the opportunity to purchase gifts at the park store. Photography is encouraged, jackets are suggested, and park visitors will be admitted free!
Festivities continue on into Saturday which begins with the Santa Dash at 10:00 am. Live music broadcasts throughout the downtown that day and many stores and vendors are offering special deals for that holiday shopper. A block off of Main Avenue and one can attend the Holiday Craft Fair which is hosted by the Aztec Senior-Community Center. People can purchase handmade crafts and a variety of distinctive, under-the-tree giftables including jewelry, soaps, t-shirt decals, sewings, quiltings, crochets and more made by local artisans.
Saturday night is highlighted with the Aztec Sparkles Parade at 6:00 pm whereby over 30 participating organizations and decorated floats travel down Main Avenue for the publics' enjoyment. Don't miss Santa Claus. The evening ends with festivities in Minium Park, including the Christmas Tree Lighting.