Chamber Chat: Aztec prepares for Christmas

Vangie Garza Neil
Aztec Chamber of Commerce
Vangie Garza Neil

We are excited to announce the first workshop at the new chamber location, 119 E. Chuska St. in Aztec, will be Work for Yourself@50+ on Feb. 15. The program is specifically designed to help people 50 and older learn about what it takes to be successfully self-employed in today’s economy. It will be hosted by San Juan College Enterprise Center and the AARP Foundation. Learn how to explore your options, be your own boss, find your focus, make a plan, watch out for trouble and connect with resources in the community. To register your spot now or for more information, call the San Juan College Enterprise Center at 505-566-3699.

The chamber continues to complete its move and anticipates a "business as usual" outlook by the end of the year. We will keep you posted on the move and request for volunteers to help in the move. Thank you in advance for your participation and your patience.

Aztec Sparkles Christmas Festival

The Aztec Sparkles Christmas Festival, the Four Corners' holiday destination, is almost here!

With so much to do during the four-week event, the only difficult part will be choosing what to do first. Here is a brief lineup of events:

  • Evening of Lights: Aztec Ruins National Monument, 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 6
  • Aztec Boys & Girls Clubs Christmas Carnival: 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 9
  • Aztec Public Library Holiday Celebration: 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 9
  • Aztec Sparkles Christmas Festival: 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 10
  • The Santa Dash: The 5K for the Holidaze: 10 a.m. Dec. 10 in front of City Hall on Chaco Street
  • Aztec Sparkles Christmas Parade: 6 p.m. Dec. 10
  • Aztec Sparkles Vendors: 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Dec. 10

If interested in showing your wares, creations, designs and delicacies at the Christmas Festival, download the vendor application from the chamber website. Vendors will be housed on Main Street in a variety of indoor locations.

There are numerous volunteer positions available for the Christmas Festival. If interested, call the chamber at 505-334-7646.

Board position

The chamber is still seeking a talented individual with a passion to see growth in the city of Aztec and to work with new businesses wishing to plant their roots in our small big town. Board members also help with special events, work with volunteers, lobby, help with local elections, attend ribbon cuttings, identify business prospects to become chamber members and offer an array of benefits to those who invest in their local area. If your creative, managerial and organizational talents are seeking a home to help our town continue to grow, contact the chamber at 505-334-7646. Thank you in advance for your consideration.

Annual banquet

The time has come to begin to plan for the 2017 Aztec Chamber of Commerce Annual Banquet. The event helps to spotlight and honor the Business of the Year, Citizen of the Year and Educator of the Year. Next year’s event will be on April 29 at the Aztec Senior-Community Center, 101 S. Park Ave.

The chamber does not receive city or federal funding. The organization is run solely on the dues from membership, year-round events, donations and grants. The dollars raised help to provide educational programs for chamber members in the areas of marketing, social media, IT, public relations and various business workshops. Funds also help to stage luncheons, breakfasts and business after-hours events.

If interested in making a donation for our silent and live auction, please contact Vangie Neil at 505-215-9888 or the Aztec Chamber of Commerce at 505-334-7646. No donation is too small. You will receive a tax receipt for your contribution. Additionally, the chamber will accept any or all gift certificates, items (art, clothes and accessories, oil changes, wine and gift baskets, services, etc.), weekend trips, use of cabins and more.

Sponsorship packages will be mailed out soon. Most importantly, we look forward to your attendance!


The election is over, and most of us are breathing a sigh of relief that we finally have our television back free of political campaigns and rhetoric. There has been much controversy regarding our presidential candidates as well as protests in our state and cities around the country. For some, the change sheds light at the end of the tunnel, and for others there is a sense of defeat.

Elections are behind us, and it is time to reunite America and to move forward to plan for our children’s future, infrastructure, world trade, a focus on our veterans, health care and so much more. We have important work to do in America. More importantly, it is the work we have waiting for us in Aztec with a goal for businesses to prosper and succeed.

Allow me to summarize it with a quote by  Eleanor Roosevelt: "It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness." God bless America!

Vangie Garza Neil is the vice president of the Aztec Chamber of Commerce.