EL PASO, Texas - The Celebration of Lights is returning to San Jacinto Plaza for the first time in three years. So is the traffic.
Crews from the El Paso street car project have been working diligently to reopen Santa Fe Street, Mills, Main, and Kansas streets.
"The folks are stripping (Santa Fe street) to make sure we can get this street re-opened by the end of the day today so we can get as many cars into the convention center garage and San Jacinto Plaza as possible," Martin Bartlett, a spokesman with the El Paso streetcar project, said Friday.
Santa Fe street's re-opening would be a much-welcomed change of pace to the current traffic situation Downtown. The street runs parallel to the Downtown Convention Center parking garage.
Many of those attending Saturday's celebration are expected to park their vehicles in that parking garage.
The city is expecting more than 100,000 people for Saturday's celebration. With parking garages expected to fill up, many drivers will have to park their vehicles in curbside spaces with parking meters.
The City will charge for metered parking until 6 p.m. Saturday. Many who attend the holiday market starting at 11 a.m. will more than likely have to feed the meter several times.
Some El Pasoans ABC-7 spoke with Friday said they were planning ahead. "I am probably going to carpool with my family, however many people we can fit in one car, because parking is terrifying. I could barely find parking today," Sarah Lara said.
The Celebration of Lights is expected to be a 12 hour event starting at 11 am with the Holiday Market.
For full event schedule and parade route:
- 4:30 PM First Armored Division Band
- 5:00 PM St. Anthony's Seminary Franciscanos Choir
- 5:30 PM Holiday Lightning Ceremony
- 5:55 PM Celebration of Lights Parade
ABC-7 will stream the celebration live on KVIA.com.