It’s beginning to look a lot like WinterFest in downtown El Paso.

“The Coolest Fest in the Southwest” gets underway this Saturday, November 20, with the Celebration of Lights Parade and Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony at San Jacinto Plaza, and City of El Paso Parks and Recreation workers have been going lights out to get the festive holiday lights and décor in and around the plaza hung, built, and assembled for Saturday’s kick-off events.

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The Christmas tree with the huge, colorful balls that sits in the corner of San Jacinto Plaza nearest the parking garage is now in place as is the beloved Nativity scene that depicts the birth of Jesus Christ.

City of El Paso, Texas - Municipal Government Facebook

Also assembled is the memorial tree honoring the victims of the Aug. 3 Walmart mass shooting. The lighted tree was donated to the city of El Paso in 2019 by the San Antonio company that handles holiday installations for several Texas cities including El Paso. The memorial tree sits in front of the Museum of Art.

City of El Paso, Texas - Municipal Government

By this Saturday, San Jacinto Plaza will be decked out with more than 400,000 mini-lights adorning every one of the 120 trees, and numerous lighted lawn decorations including a large walk-through tunnel.

The Mills Street Holiday Walkway and Paseo de las Luces on South El Paso Street will also be festively lit, making the area in and around the plaza the best place to take Christmassy selfies and group photos.

City of El Paso

After the lighting ceremony on November 20 the lights will be lit nightly starting at 5 p.m. through Jan. 2.

Winterfest Celebration of Lights Schedule of Events· Saturday, November 20, 2021


12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Holiday Downtown Art & Farmers Market

4:30 PM

First Armored Division Band in San Jacinto Plaza

5:00 PM

St. Anthony Franciscan Choir in San Jacinto Plaza

5:30 p.m.

Lighting Ceremony and Parade San Jacinto Plaza

6:05 p.m.

Entertainment on Main Stage in San Jacinto Plaza

Celebration of Lights Parade route

El Paso Winterfest Facebook

The parade starts on Texas Ave. and Campbell St. at 5:30 p.m. and will wind its way to San Jacinto Plaza, and end at Mills St. and Campbell.

El Paso Parks and Recreation

The Holiday Market at Winterfest

El Paso Downtown Art and Farmers Market Facebook

The Downtown Artist and Farmer's Market takes over the pedestrian pathway located between the ballpark and the El Paso Convention Center,with an art and Farmer's Market from noon to 8 p.m.

Dozens of local artists and craftsman will be selling their wares along the pathway surrounded by non-stop live entertainment and food trucks.

Ice Skating

El Paso Winterfest

The outdoor ice-skating rink will open at 12 noon and skating sessions will run through 12 a.m.

The Arts Festival Plaza will once again become a Winter Wonderland of glimmering lights and family-friendly activities, and popular attractions such as the winter-themed cafe, food and vendor booths, and the life-size snow globe for picture taking will return as well.

Holiday Movies at the Plaza

The free film series will feature 11 movies over six weekends beginning Sunday, November 21.

1 p.m. — The Nightmare Before Christmas (PG)
4 p.m. — National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (PG-13)

TOP 10: The best holiday TV specials of all time, ranked