Albuquerque to Display Record of Three Million Lights December 24th to Celebrate City’s 300th Holiday Season

New Mexico City Prepares for Tricentennial in April 2006

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Dec. 1 /PRNewswire/ — Three million lights for 300 years. That’s the record the City of Albuquerque, NM hopes to reach during the Festival of Illumination on December 24th, 2005.

Albuquerque will celebrate its 300th birthday on April 23, 2006 and as part of the 18-month Tricentennial celebration, residents will celebrate this 300th holiday season by “illuminating” the city. Residents will display holiday lights, luminarias, menorahs, candles and other luminous objects on December 24th to honor the city and its diversity of cultures and traditions.

The goal is for Albuquerque to glow with three million lights. Guinness World Record has approved Albuquerque’s attempt to establish a world record. An aerial photograph will be taken of the “illuminated” city at 6 p.m. (MST) to permanently commemorate this historical event. The Festival of Illumination highlights the theme of Albuquerque’s Tricentennial celebration, “An Illuminating Experience.” Visit www.ALBUQUERQUE300.org\festival for more information.

Residents are encouraged to submit a pledge form indicating how many lights they will display on December 24th. The pledge forms will enable the city determine the final light count in establishing a record.

Although the city’s actual 300th birthday is not until 2006, the city began celebrating a year early in April 2005. Each month through April 2006 has a different theme, featuring a plethora of cultural activities throughout the city. The three-day-long birthday bash, featuring a 300-hot air balloon mass ascension, reenactments, royal guests and more, will be followed by a three month Summer Festival for residents and visitors. For more information on Albuquerque’s Tricentennial, including history, sponsors and events, visit www.ALBUQUERQUE300.org.

Albuquerque, New Mexico is celebrating its 300th birthday through 2006. The city was founded by Governor Francisco Cuervo y Valdez in 1706 and remains a vibrant crossroad of culture to this day. The city’s Tricentennial celebration has also been chosen as the American Bus Association’s top event of 2006. Major sponsors of the celebration include Bank of Albuquerque, Bank of America, Bank of the West, First State Bank, PNM, Presbyterian, Lockheed Martin/Sandia Laboratories and Wells Fargo. Go to www.ALBUQUERQUE300.org to find out how you can join in Albuquerque’s Tricentennial festivities.

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