River of Lights Nominated for USA Today


Arlina Yang, Junior Editor

River of Lights, a popular Albuquerque holiday display has chances of being labeled the best in the nation by USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice for Best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights Display. While the voting has closed by Monday, December 7, the top 10 winning botanical gardens in the United States will be announced on 10Best by Friday, December 18. 

Though New Mexico’s largest walk through light show with almost 600 amazing holiday displays has been sadly postponed for 2020, which also caused a giant loss of funding for the ABQ BioPark, an environmental museum located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Furthermore, the River of Lights was also voted 8th place for USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice for Best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights in 2018 and 7th place in 2019. And whether they’ll snatch themselves a spot for 2020 will be revealed by Dec. 18! 

Originally in 1997, the River of Lights had begun as a fundraiser for the ABQ BioPark, which contains four separate facilities : Albuquerque Aquarium, ABQ BioPark Botanic Garden, Rio Grande Zoo, and the Tingley Beach. And the proceeds of the walk through light show went on to support a variety of the BioPark’s projects through the New Mexico BioPark Society.

Winners from the year of 2019 include : A Longwood Christmas, Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights, Gardens Aglow, Nights of a Thousand Candles, Million Bulb/Walk/Dominion Energy Garden of Lights, Fantasy in Lights, River of Lights, Illumination, Lights in Bloom, and Illuminations. 

Every year’s River of Lights exhibited skillful new sculptures and impressive displays made by artists and craftsmen from the BioPark. And soon on Friday, December 18 the results will have come through on 10Best USA Today with a list of Best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights for 2020!