Arts & Culture Family Featured Music & Events Travel, Shopping & Leisure Fara Illich December 19, 2012

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From drawings of Santa to wishes of world peace, over 400 (and counting!) hand-decorated luminarias will line the streets of Downtown Dec. 24.
Just under one tenth of the 1,093 bags that will be used for the inaugural year of Luminarias Downtown were decorated by 20 volunteers who also filled sand bags and helped prepare the luminarias for their big reveal.

The hand-drawn designs are a part of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership’s Holidays in Downtown decoration and events campaign which includes 3600 feet of garland, over a mile and half of twinkling lights, 160 holiday banners and seven holiday events.
Traditional to neighborhoods in New Mexico, luminarias – also known as farolitos – are a gesture of welcome stretching back to the 16th Century Spanish tradition of lighting small bonfires along roads during the final night of Las Posadas.
In a similar gesture, The Partnership welcomes Downtown residents, visitors and families to take up a pen or marker and craft their statements of welcome to all who will view the decorations on Dec. 24.
There are three ways to decorate: Stop by a Pop-Up Park from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. to leave your message. Pop-Up Parks take place at CityScape Monday-Friday, The Arizona Center on Thursday and from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Civic Space Park on Friday. Or, stop by the Ambassador Info Center between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Or, head to the Phoenix Public Market on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and stop by the Ambassador table.
And, don’t forget to join us Dec. 24 starting at 5:30 p.m. to observe the luminarias on a self-guided walking tour.
More details: www.downtownphoenix.com/holidays