Madrid Christmas Parade – Los Cerrillos, New Mexico - Atlas Obscura
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Los Cerrillos, New Mexico

Madrid Christmas Parade

A ghost town revived by hippies and wanderers throws its own special brand of holiday parade. 

Referred to as “Christmas City” by those in the know, Madrid was a mining town that had a Christmas celebration that rivaled all others. In the first half of the 20th century, even Walt Disney himself marveled at the luminescent displays of lights and holiday cheer.

Then the mines closed down, and like so many other towns in the southwest, Madrid became a ghost town, a place of Christmas past. It survived on its ghost town merits alone for several decades, but unlike that of so many of its ramshackle sister towns, Madrid’s story wasn’t over yet. Hope sparked as hippies and other off-the-gridders decided to make Madrid a place to call home once again, and in the 1970s, Christmas City came back to life.

No ordinary town, Madrid is now filled with free spirits and folks who march to the beat of their own holiday drum. The annual parade was revived, and today features marching dogs and roaming children, shot-up beater cars, residents in costumes of their own design, and the treasured Christmas yak. 

Know Before You Go

If you go, be aware that if you look weird enough, you might wind up in the parade.

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