El Pasoans flock to 78th-annual Celebration of Lights

El Pasoans flock to 78th-annual Celebration of Lights

EL PASO, Texas - The 78th-annual Celebration of Lights moved from San Jacinto Plaza to Cleveland Square this year, but the mood Saturday was just as bright as always.

"It's a brand-new experience for El Paso," said ABC-7's Ashlie Rodriguez, "and I am happy to be here sharing it with you."

And plenty of happy faces in the crowd -- some a little too happy.

"I'm having a great time, couldn't be in a better place," one woman said. "Especially standing next to you, Collin."

We'll call it the joy of the season -- and who could blame her? A choir of angels fell from heaven -- in the form of the St. Patrick's Cathedral School choir.

"A smaller venue this year, but it's still going to be enjoyable, and it's exciting," the woman said.

A tinier venue, but ABC-7's Estella Casas was larger than life -- leading the crowd in a rendition of "Feliz Navidad."

Even Miss El Paso stopped by -- Rodriguez and ABC-7's Karla Huelga seemed to think reporter Collin Carroll had a shot.

"Very much so," said Miss El Paso. "I would like for you to go and compete."

A pair of little ones must have been thinking that if they couldn't have Carroll, no one could -- hence the beat-down they gave him with their new light sabers.

"Unfortunately, when you guys smacked me in the head," Carroll said, "you made Santa's naughty list."

Did I mention Estela was having a good time? She cut the rug to "Gangnam Style" -- in the bitter cold, mind you.

"Most places will be below freezing," Huelga said during a forecast.

Yet an ice-cream vendor kept his doors open throughout the festivities.

"No ice cream, we need some warm hot chocolate or coffee," one man said.

But for the tens of thousands who clung to loved ones and stuck it out, the lights, parade and fireworks were worth the wait.

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