‘Huge changes’ expected at Christmas on the Pecos this year

“Huge changes” are planned for Christmas on the Pecos this year, with activities now taking place on both sides of the river, Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway reported in his latest newsletter update.

“Carlsbad families and visitors will have a great time exploring a Christmas wonderland on both sides of the new footbridge,” Mayor Janway said.

Along with boat tours, the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce is also adding a 15-20 minute journey on a 16-passenger kiddie train along the river sidewalk, with participants purchasing golden tickets as boarding passes, akin to boarding “The Polar Express.” That train will travel in part through “elf town,” which consists of nine small facades of houses resting on top of snowy mountains, Mayor Janway said.

Another addition this year will be a light maze, similar to a corn maze but made from Christmas lights, located next door to “elf town,” the mayor said. A 20-foot tall-lighted dome will house various vendors, and there will be a life-sized snow-globe.

A 26-foot Christmas tree will rest on the island on the beach, while River Hut will sell hot cocoa and s’mores. There will also be mascots this year — “Ripple” the Pecos Elf and his sidekick “Chile’ the roadrunner, according to the mayor.

The mayor thanked everyone at the Chamber, and also the residents along the Pecos River, for making this event possible.

Christmas on the Pecos starts after Thanksgiving. More information will be posted soon at