This year, Socorro is going all out with amazing things happening in town on Saturday, Dec. 7, that will offer fun for everyone.

Santa and his elves have been busy preparing for what undoubtedly is one of the best community holiday celebrations in New Mexico.

The day will begin with Santa making an appearance at his own Jingle Bash, a holiday arts and crafts fair, as well as entertaining the youth in the community.

Breakfast with Santa will be conducted from 10 a.m. to noon in Finley gym. Cost is $5, and all proceeds from the breakfast will help support youth programs at Finley gym.

Breakfast iwth Santa

Children are encouraged to bring their letters to Santa during the breakfast. If you can’t attend the breakfast, you can drop off your letter at El Defensor Chieftain’s office, 200 Winkler Street, before 1 p.m. on Friday, December 13. Letters to Santa will be published in the December 19 edition of El Defensor Chieftain.

Also on Saturday morning, El Defensor Chieftain will kick-off Santa's Jingle Bash in Finley gym. The free event will feature 40 area crafters, artists, and bakers featuring all sorts of handmade holiday items to give at Christmas. The event begins at 10 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m.

At 1 p.m., the community is invited to attend La Gran Pastorela, the shepherds' story of the first Christmas at the Garcia Opera House in Socorro. Los Pastores de Belen will perform the play. Admission is free, and the event is sponsored by the Friends of El Camino Real Historic Trail.

And holiday fun doesn't stop there. Remember how we said there are plenty of things to do on Saturday?

Later that evening, Socorro will host its annual Music and Art Stroll starting at 5:30 p.m. on the Plaza. Members of the Socorro County Arts will display their arts in crafts in shops around the beautiful historic plaza. Enjoy food, beverages and entertainment as you follow the path of luminarias from shop to shop.

Prior to the parade, the Socorro Fire Department will serve up a delicious meal of carnitas, chicharrones, potatoes, and carne adobada beans to potential customers on Saturday afternoon, starting at 4 p.m. Their booth will be located on the north side of Socorro's historic Plaza. Tickets for the meal are $10 each. The meal helps raise money for Christmas toys for local boys and girls in the community.

The annual meal is conducted before to the start of this year’s annual Electric Lights Parade. This year’s parade theme is “Cowboy Christmas in Socorro.”

The parade will begin at 6 p.m. Find your perfect spot to enjoy the parade on the side of southbound California Street all the way from Sedillo Park to the plaza.

The parade will be followed by luminaries at the Plaza as well as pictures with the jolly guy in the red suit – Santa Claus, can be snapped.

The official lighting of the holiday tree will take place at 7 p.m. followed by a serenade from the City of Socorro Youth Chour.

With so much holiday fun, there’s something to do for everyone — kids, adults, families, couples…you name it.

Come join the fun in Socorro .. where Christmas begins.