Christmas Lights — San Jacinto Plaza, El Paso, Texas Part 2

As you’ll recall from Monday, this week I’m taking you on a tour of El Paso’s annual Christmas decorations in the historic San Jacinto Plaza. This was between venues, starting with dinner at Gonzalos G&R and culminating with this night’s Broadway in El Paso show at our magnificently restored Plaza Theatre. We’ll get to that in a moment, but first let’s continue with the San Jacinto tour:

Another Christmas “tree” in San Jacinto Plaza — This one changes!

Ever strolled through a Christmas tree ornament? Well, here you can, and this one changes colors:

Believe it or not, one piece of history from San Jacinto Plaza’s earlier days involved alligators, which resided there for many, many decades. “What’s that?” you say. “Alligators in the Chihuahuan Desert?” Yep. We had alligators in the plaza — at one time as many as seven of them! Back then the unofficial name for San Jacinto was La Plaza de los Lagartos, which translates to “The Plaza of the Alligators.” Young men would come here to impress their dates by wrestling with these reptiles. Alas, in 1974 El Paso’s alligators were permanently relocated to the zoo, as some of them were maimed, and two of them even killed, by vandals. Idiots such as this is why we can’t have nice things. At any rate, El Paso still honors La Plaza de los Lagartos with the fibreglass statue Los Lagartos statue by the late, nationally acclaimed local artist Luis Jiménez:

Los Lagartos by Luis Jiménez

Now a discussion on the Plaza Theatre and Broadway in El Paso. The Plaza dates back to 1930. Once abandoned and falling into disrepair, El Pasoans rallied and sank about $38 million into renovating it, expanding the screen area into a stage, and making the venue suitable for Broadway-on-the-road productions. Thus was born Broadway in El Paso, to which Ursula and I have had season tickets for many, many years. How long? Let me just say that over the years we’ve worked our way up to the second row, which gives us a really impressive vantage. On this particular night we were there to see On Your Feet, a musical highlighting the lives of Gloria and Emilio Estefan. Don’t let the smallish front façade fool you. This theater is massive, seating over 2,000 in just the main auditorium alone!

El Paso’s historic Plaza Theatre showing On Your Feet

This week’s Fun Photo Friday will feature favorite shots of the San Jacinto Plaza’s Christmas decorations and lights. Until then, here’s a few additional views:

Слава Україні! (Slava Ukraini!)


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