San Juan County Christmas events start this week

Celebrations will offer a variety of family-friendly activities

Hannah Grover
Community members take notes while judging Christmas trees on Dec. 2 during last year's Festival of Trees at the Farmington Civic Center.
  • The Festival of Trees starts Wednesday and continues through Saturday at the Farmington Civic Center.
  • The Farmington Christmas Parade will start at 5:45 p.m. Thursday in downtown Farmington. Bloomfield's parade is Dec. 5.
  • On Friday, the River Reach Foundation will present Riverglo at Berg Park, and there will be a tree lighting in Kirtland.
  • San Juan College's luminaria display will be on Saturday, and Miracle on Main Street will be on Sunday at the Farmington Civic Center.

FARMINGTON — Farmington will kick off the Christmas season this week with a series of back-to-back events that range from luminarias to ice skating and Christmas tree displays.

The first of these events will be the Festival of Trees, which starts Wednesday and continues through Saturday at the Farmington Civic Center, 200 W. Arrington St.

The festival, which raises money for Presbyterian Medical Services, will also provides the public an opportunity for free health screenings during the Holiday Health Fair, which starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

At the festival, families can purchase decorated Christmas trees, which are donated by community members and businesses that compete in a tree decorating contest.

Throughout the week, there will be special events for certain groups. Children can enjoy Teddy Bear Storytime at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Thursday. Seniors can attend Senior Social Hour at 1 p.m. Friday, and families are invited to attend the Family Night at 5 p.m. Thursday.

Other events during the festival include the Lunch with the Trees at noon Thursday, Coffee Break with the Trees at 8 a.m. Friday and Holiday Happy Hour at 6 p.m. Friday. Some of the events are free while others cost between $5 and $10.

Tickets for the events that cost money — Teddy Bear Storytime, Lunch with the Trees, Coffee Break with the Trees and Holiday Happy Hour — can be purchased through the Farmington Civic Center.

San Juan College's Sherrie and Mel Biringer dance together on Dec. 3 during the annual Christmas Parade on Main Street in downtown Farmington.

People who attend the Festival of Trees on Thursday can also head downtown to Main Street for the annual Christmas Parade. This year, the parade, sponsored by the Farmington Chamber of Commerce, will have the theme "Christmas Around the World." The parade starts at 5:45 p.m.

Farmington's parade will be the first of the local Christmas parades. On Dec. 5, the Bloomfield Chamber of Commerce will host its parade, starting at 6:30 p.m., on First Street. This year's theme is Light Up the Christmas Spirit.

The events will continue Friday with Riverglo, put on by the River Reach Foundation. Hundreds of luminarias will light the pathways in Berg Park along the Animas River. People can walk the trail from 6 to 8 p.m. and enjoy live music and hot chocolate.

On the same day, the Kirtland Chamber of Commerce will have a community celebration at San Juan College's west campus, 453 County Road 6100 in Kirtland. During the event, which starts at 6:30 p.m., the chamber will light up a Christmas tree. There will also be a small luminaria display.

A group of people walk along the luminaria-illuminated trail at Berg Park in Farmington during the annual Riverglo on Dec. 4.

Luminaria enthusiasts can also enjoy the San Juan College luminaria display from 6 p.m. to midnight on Saturday at its main campus, 4601 College Blvd. in Farmington. People can drive through the campus to view the lights or park on the east side of campus off College Boulevard. Those who choose to park can then explore the display and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate.

The week will end with the city of Farmington’s second annual Miracle on Main Street from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Civic Center.

Last year, about 5,000 people attended the event, according to a press release from the city’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs department. Those people had the chance to meet Santa, take photos in an oversized snow globe, ice skate and listen to live music.

This year, the first 500 visitors will be given a Miracle on Main Street Christmas tree ornament.

The event will end with Mayor Tommy Roberts lighting a 30-foot outdoor Christmas tree.

From left, Millet Frias, Harmony Ayze and Kannitha Pheap step onto the ice skating rink on Dec. 6 during the first Miracle on Main Street event outside the Farmington Civic Center.

"We wanted to continue the celebration of the season in downtown Farmington," said Cory Styron, the PRCA director, in the press release. "The addition of the Christmas tree, ice rink and life-size snow globe provide our residents an opportunity to create new family memories in our downtown. We hope that these new traditions bring people downtown to laugh, eat, shop and have a positive experience in our community."

The city has planned to make this year’s event even larger. This year's ice skating rink, for example, will be twice as large as it was last year.

During Miracle on Main Street, ice skating is free to the public. The rink will remain open until January. Starting Dec. 5, ice skating will cost $5, including the skate rental.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.