Downtown El Paso (DTEP) will be firing on all cylinders this holiday season! In addition to the lights in San Jacinto Plaza, the holiday shows at the Plaza Theatre, and the traditional mistletoe, this year will introduce WinterFest! Presented by The Hospitals of Providence and Providence Children’s Hospital, the event will energize the Las Plazas Arts district! Visit Arts Festival Plaza (between the El Paso Museum of Art and the Plaza Theatre) from December 3, through January 8, 2016, to enjoy lights, holiday shopping, festivities, food, and outdoor ice skating!
We spoke with the Special Events and Sponsorship Manager for Destination El Paso, Emily Beardmore, in a short Q&A session to get a better idea of the newest holiday attraction in DTEP!
Q. Emily, you mentioned holiday shopping opportunities, can you elaborate on that?
A. One of WinterFest’s features, made to resemble the German Holiday Market, is the Winter Village which consists of “cabins” located near the ice rink that offer a little holiday shopping for downtown strollers. For the festival’s first year, we are showcasing 6 locally-owned companies that sell products and services relevant to the holiday and winter season. The Winter Village is open Thursdays through Sundays during WinterFest (Dec. 3 – Jan. 8). Our committee and other partners are confident that this feature will grow over the years to have even more pop-up holiday shops in downtown El Paso.
Q. The Big Media Kringle Kafé is going to offer food – can you elaborate on the kind of food people can expect?
A. We are very excited about the Big Media Kringle Kafé! The Kafé’s menu was made to be fun, festive and El Paso-flavored. So we’re serving up tacos, churros, pozole, “chilly” dogs, corn in a cup and more. Plus, we have partnered with local favorites Coffee Box to serve their coffee and hot chocolate, and Delicious Mexican Eatery to serve their tasty tamales! The Kafé is located in the retail space next door to the Plaza Theatre.
Q. Why do you think it’s important to offer holiday programming in downtown if there are other options in El Paso?
A. One of Destination El Paso’s main goals is to entertain all of our locals (El Paso Live) as well as attract other visitors to our beautiful border city (Visit El Paso). There are already tons of great events, festivals and attractions in El Paso, but we believe that creating new, fun festivals will only increase love for these events in the city as a whole. We want El Pasoans to say “There’s always something to do in El Paso” regardless of what season it is.
Q. Finally, this will be open from Dec. 3 to Jan. 8 – what will the hours of operation be?
A. We have created two schedules to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our city. The ‘opening schedule’ allows for people to join us after school and work hours, while the ‘holiday schedule’ ensures that families and friends have something to do during their holiday breaks.
‘Opening Schedule’ – December 3 – December 22, 2016
Mondays – Thursdays: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
Fridays: 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Saturdays: noon – 11 p.m.
Sundays: noon – 10 p.m.
‘Holiday Schedule’ – December 23, 2016 – January 8, 2017
Sundays – Thursdays: noon – 10 p.m.
Fridays – Saturdays: noon – 11 p.m.
Festival hours fluctuate during the holidays and when the rink is reserved for private parties. An updated schedule is always available at www.elpasolive.com.