City deems Twinkle Light Parade a success

Posted at: 12/03/2012 9:08 PM
Updated at: 12/03/2012 10:17 PM
By: Maria Guererro, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The city of Albuquerque said Saturday’s Twinkle Light Parade and Shop & Stroll was a success. Some residents loved that the two popular events were combined and that Shop & Stroll was held on a weekend, but not everyone feels this way.

Some are upset about the traffic troubles they encountered in Nob Hill. They want the parade back where it’s been for the past 12 years. The holiday procession moved from Old Town to Nob Hill this year where it ran alongside Shop & Stroll.

"It's definitely one of the best years we've ever had,” said Tierna Unruh-Enos with the city of Albuquerque. “Location was very good for us because logistically it was really nice for us to have the parade in Old Town. It was easier."

The city’s Cultural Services, which manages the parade, said about 35,000 people lined Central Avenue. The city credited great weather for the turnout. The snowy conditions last year impacted the turnout.

But holiday cheer turned into a giant headache for some. "We spent a hour and a half trying to park,” remembered Brock Adams of Albuquerque. “We even tried to park by the Blockbuster and people said, 'We're going to tow you." With that many people you just can't… There's not enough space. So they may want to think about that next year."

Charlene Gallegos said on Facebook: It was a chaotic nightmare!!! We looked for parking for almost an hour and the event seemed very unorganized.

"I think that's really going to be really an issue anywhere you go though if you have that many people, there always is going to be some parking issues for some people,” responds Unruh-Enos. “We really encourage public transportation as much as possible."

As for Old Town, the city is touting the hundred-plus events it helps put on there including Friday’s Old Town Holiday Stroll. "It's really good for business and we're excited about it because a lot of locals come which is nice," said Victoria Pacheco of Plaza Gifts.

Still, for some, Twinkle Light is a tradition that’s not as bright anymore. “It was just chaos,” said Adams. “It was worse than Balloon Fiesta parking."

The city said it will consider the parking woes. But if all goes well and Nob Hill wants the parade back, expect the Twinkle Light Parade to stay in Nob Hill in 2013.