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Tuesday, June 18, 2024 at 8:26 PM

Edith — vacationing in New Mexico

Edith — vacationing in New Mexico
by Edith Isidoro-Mills —  I hope everyone had a happy holiday season.  I went to Albuquerque to be with my mother and my brother. While there I had to see the usual Christmas-light displays.  On Christmas Eve the luminarias were a little disappointing since there was a very soaking rain starting about mid-afternoon and lasting well into the evening.  By the night after Christmas the weather had cleared and we were able to see “The River of Lights” at the botanical garden in the Albuquerque Biopark.For the second year in a row, Albuquerque’s “River of Lights” has been recognized by the USA Today’s 10 Best series for botanical garden holiday light displays.  This puts Albuquerque’s botanical garden light display in the league with such great public gardens as Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.  Of the botanical garden holiday light displays, Albuquerque’s “River of Lights” is the furthest west.  In fact, except for “River of Lights” and Wichita’s “Illuminations” at Botanica, all the USA Today’s 10 Best displays are east of the Mississippi River.The first “River of Lights” display in Albuquerque was in 1997.  I started visiting it in 2011 and have seen it every year since.  Every year the display gets a little bit bigger as they have included more sections of the gardens in the light display over the years.  In more recent years they have started illuminating the Japanese gardens with displays appropriate to that part of the gardens.  Other sections of the gardens include a simulation of early farming during the Spanish Colonial period, native plant gardens, a children’s fantasy garden, outdoor model train, a riparian garden, butterfly garden (not part of the light display) and a couple of climate-controlled conservatories with gardens not hardy in Albuquerque’s climate which is similar to Fallon’s climate.The “River of Lights” runs for a full month every year from November 30 through December 30 with the display closed Christmas Eve (when everyone is more interested in the citywide luminarias) and Christmas Day.The botanical garden where the “River of Lights” is displayed is just one part of the Albuquerque Biopark which includes a zoo, and an aquarium. The Biopark is owned by the City of Albuquerque with a non-profit organization of volunteers in partnership.       Never miss a meeting or community event – keep an eye on the community calendar at https://www.thefallonpost.org/events/ If you like what we’re doing, please support our effort to provide local, independent news and contribute to The Fallon Post, your online news source for all things Fallon.