Winter wonderland emerges during ninth annual art stroll

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Lights, music, art and luminarias are all a big part of the Ninth Annual Luminarias on the Plaza Art Stroll, which takes place Dec. 1 at the Old Town Plaza from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Established in 2004, the Socorro County Arts formed this as their first event, said Art Stroll coordinator Joy Miler.

“We ask businesses to open doors on the evening to host artists and the music coming through,” Miler said.

Visitors can enjoy live music, art and refreshments and the luminarias around the plaza, she said. Miler hopes there are several businesses in the plaza that will participate in the art stroll event.

“I go around to talk to businesses whether they want to be a part of the event,” Miler said.

Last year, the art stroll joined with the electric light parade, the lighting of the Christmas tree and arrival of Santa Claus, she said.

Visitors can enjoy the parade that starts off at Sedillo Park and then attend the art stroll.

The event is for people to get out and have a good time, she said. There will be various arts within businesses such as paintings, jewelry, pen and ink, fiber arts and candles.

The artists are each responsible for putting out two dozen luminarias near where their artwork is on display. It is a lot of work for the artists, but it is a fun event, she said.

She said the lumniarias have made the evening more fun. Attendance for the event has increased over the years because more people are finding out about the art stroll.

It’s exciting to enjoy the town and all things happening, she said. According to Miler, there are more people out and about, people with families are enjoying the parade, then attending the art stroll after.

“We’ve gotten bigger,” Miler said. “That was our main idea, an evening art stroll to follow lights to each business.”

Visitors attending the event can pick up a map at all the businesses around the plaza that have artwork. The map even shows businesses outside of the plaza who have artists’ work.

People can start the tour anywhere that they want. Maps will be available at the Chamber of Commerce and the Heritage Center days before the event so visitors can see where artwork will be displayed.

“It’s good for businesses too,” Miler said. “The community gets to see what the business offers.”

She said they have had book signing in the past. This year, author Jim Wolf will be at the Chamber of Commerce signing his book “Wall of Smoke.”

“This event is important for two reasons — art is for life enjoyment. It isn’t a need like food and water, it makes life pleasant,” Miler said. “It’s a venue for the community to enjoy and for artists to show off their work.”