It’s official, the City of El Paso announced it’s putting the ho ho ho back into Winterfest. The coolest fest in the Southwest returns the Saturday before Thanksgiving en fuego.

“We are excited to bring back 100 percent of our signature holiday celebration,” said City Manager Tommy Gonzalez in a city press release.

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That means the outdoor ice-skating rink in the Arts Festival Plaza will be open this year, the Plaza Theater will be showing free Christmas movies again, and downtown will become a Winter Wonderland filled with glimmering lights, festive decorations, and family-friendly activities.

Celebrate the Celebration of Lights

Winterfest will get underway Saturday, November 20, and run through Sunday, January 2, 2022.

El Paso Winterfest Facebook
El Paso Winterfest Facebook

Christmas-time festivities will kick off with the city’s annual Celebration of Lights at San Jacinto Plaza on the 20th. The downtown park will again play host to the full day of holiday entertainment that will culminate with the spectacular nighttime parade featuring numerous floats, vehicles, and walking groups all tricked out in colorful lights.

Specific events and special programming features will be announced in the coming weeks, but the city is all in on it this year. Pretty much all the city departments are getting involved in one form or another, as is the El Paso Downtown Management District.


“City staff has worked hard planning for exciting, in-person programming for the WinterFest season,” said Tracey Jerome, Deputy City Manager for Quality of Life and Communications, in a statement.

“With the help of our community and downtown partners, WinterFest will be an unforgettable experience for everyone.” Like I said, the ho ho ho is back.

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