The schedule is set for the annual Celebration of Lights -- one of El Paso’s most celebrated holiday traditions.

As we previously reported the tree lighting ceremony and night parade will happen nearly two weeks earlier than last year. This year’s festivities will take place on November 18; the Sunday before Thanksgiving.

The unusual Sunday date will not interfere with school activities the following Monday as all of El Paso’s school districts will be on a week-long Thanksgiving break beginning on the 19th.

2018 Celebration of Lights Schedule of Events

Mayor Margo will flip the switch on the hundreds of thousands of lights that will set San Jacinto Plaza and the official city Christmas tree aglow at 5:55 p.m. The tree lighting will be preceded by the following entertainment:

  • 4:30 p.m. First Armored Division Band
  • 5:00 p.m. The St. Anthony Franciscanos Choir
  • 5:30 p.m. Holiday Lighting Ceremony
  • 5:55 p.m. Holiday Lighting & parade arrival
  • 6:05 p.m. El Paso Youth Orchestra
  • 6:30 p.m. - 11 p.m. Holiday entertainment
City of El Paso
City of El Paso

2018 Celebration of Lights Parade route:

Both the start time and the route are new this year.

The parade start time will be an hour earlier, at 5:00 p.m. The route has been altered and extended by a half mile to incorporate the new Paseo de las Luces.

The parade starts on Texas Street and will wind its way through Segundo Barrio, the Paseo de las Luces (El Paso Street), San Jacinto Plaza, and then back to Texas Street.

The Holiday Market at Winterfest

The El Paso Downtown Artist and Farmer's Market takes over the Pedestrian Pathway next to Southwest University Park from Santa Fe to Durango streets with a Holiday Market from 2 p.m. to 9 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. [Note: the market will be closed on Saturday November 17th]


This year’s Winterfest event will run from November 18 through January 6, 2019.

For 51 consecutive days, the Arts Festival Plaza will become a Winter Wonderland of glimmering lights and family-friendly activities. An outdoor ice-skating rink will once again serve as the focal point of the Winterfest holiday celebration, and popular attractions such as the vendors Winter Village, the Kringle Kafe, and a life-size snow globe for picture taking will return as well.

El Paso WinterFest Facebook
El Paso WinterFest Facebook

El Paso Streetcars

You'll be able to ride the streetcars for free on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays during Winterfest, through January 6.

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