Luminarias light up San Juan College campus

The 38th annual San Juan College luminaria display attracted a large crowed of people to the campus

Hannah Grover

FARMINGTON — Crowds of people walked the dimly lit paths of San Juan College tonight to see the 38th annual luminaria display.

Leann Charlie, right, her son, Codie Charlie, 3, left, and the rest of her family enjoy the luminaria display on Saturday at San Juan College.

Children bundled in coats and scarves carried glow sticks through the campus. Some ran through the luminaria-lit paths while others sat wrapped in blankets in wagons or strollers pulled by their parents. Meanwhile, the college radio station played Christmas carols over speakers located throughout the campus.

While many families chose to walk the campus to see the luminarias, others opted to remain in the warmth of their vehicles and drive through the campus. Others took the Red Apple Luminaria Trolley. The trolley, which was decorated with Christmas lights, picked people up and dropped them off at Piedra Vista High School.

Among the people walking through the campus was Leann Charlie, who took her children to see the display for the first time and to “take in all the beauty.”

Her children enjoyed exploring the candlelit campus.

Renêe and Jim Griffin walk along the luminaria display on Saturday at San Juan College.

“They’ve never seen anything like it,” she said as they stopped inside the student center at San Juan College to warm up.

She said they have gone to other luminaria displays, but nothing as big as the college's display.

That sentiment was echoed by SJC student Chad Bates. Bates and his family went to the Riverglo luminaria display Friday night in Berg Park.

Today, he took his children, Lucy, 5, and Logan, 9, to see the San Juan College display. The family had a unique preview to the event because Lucy helped set up the luminarias a week earlier along with her elementary school class.

Families enjoy the luminaria display on Saturday at San Juan College.

Bates said having Lucy on campus to help set up allowed him to spend more time with his child.

“I came down in between classes and got to see her,” he said.

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