Home News Local News 18 miles of lights, new shows added for Christmas Railway

18 miles of lights, new shows added for Christmas Railway

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Guests wait to board the Christmas Railway at the Spring River Park and Zoo. The Railway will be boarding passengers to the visit Santa’s village and experience new and favorite entertainment and attractions. The event’s full schedule and advance ticket purchases are available online at RoswellChristmasRailway.com. (File Photo)

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The Roswell Christmas Railway, which opens its third season Nov. 24, is on track to bring holiday cheer to Southeast New Mexico. In its first two seasons, the Roswell Christmas Railway saw more than 26,000 visitors from New Mexico, Texas, Colorado and beyond enjoy the festivities hosted by the Roswell Zoo.

This year Roebuck Entertainment is adding more than 18 miles of LED Christmas lights plus two new shows — Nativity Virtual Reality (VR) and Christmas Fairies versus The Fire Dragon — to the experience for families and friends celebrating the holidays.

“We love using new technology to tell the Christmas story,” Jacob Roebuck, producer of Roswell Christmas Railway, said. “Nativity VR is an immersive, powerful way to experience the story of the birth of Jesus.”

Nativity VR uses Oculus VR technology and Unreal Engine graphics (provided by Plateau) to take a dozen guests to see the biblical Christmas story in a 360 degree, 3D experience. Boyd Barrett, a local actor and voice artist, narrates the journey 2,000 years back in time.

Another new addition is a light and dance spectacular called ‘Christmas Fairies versus The Fire Dragon.’

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“Some people wonder what fairies and dragons have to do with Christmas,” Paul T. Semones, producer of the show, said. “It turns out the aurora borealis, the northern lights, are a magical barrier to protect Santa’s village at the North Pole from dragons. I mean — you can’t make this stuff up.”

In addition to the new shows, the overall experience will be brighter with the addition of more than 18 miles of LED lights used on displays on the train route and at St. Nicholas Station.

“The Roswell Christmas Railway would not be possible without power-saving LEDs,” said Roebuck. “So we have partnered with Xcel Energy to more than double the number of magical lights for our visitors to enjoy.”

“We are thrilled to sponsor the Roswell Christmas Railway and donate LED Christmas lights,” said Mike McLeod, regional manager for Xcel Energy. “The Railway is a great event for our community and a great way to teach people about energy-efficient LEDs, which use 70 to 90 percent less energy and last at least 15 times longer than traditional bulbs.”

Favorites from previous years will be back, including The Playhouse Little Village, Photos with Santa, World of Light, Polar Pals and many more. Mrs. Claus will be making her famous cinnamon rolls and cookies and some unique gifts will be available at Santa’s Emporium.

Live and cinematic entertainment also return to Santa’s Square. The Spirit of Christmas theater will be playing a number of new short films this year. The main stage, presented by Farmers Country Market, will feature performances by Studio+, Asi se Baila Ballet Folklorico, Just Dance, Roswell Symphony Orchestra group, Roswell High School choirs, KAPS Theater, Lively Piano Studios, Sierra Middle School choirs, the Roswell Youth Symphony Orchestra and more.

The Roswell Christmas Railway will take place at Spring River Park and Zoo, 1306 E. College Blvd., on the following dates (5 p.m. to 9 p.m.): Nov. 23-25; Nov. 30-Dec. 2; Dec. 7-9; Dec. 14-16; Dec. 18-24; Dec. 27-30.

Full schedule, ticket pricing and advance ticket purchases are available online at RoswellChristmasRailway.com.