Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

O Little Town of Raton.(New Mexico & The West)

Byline: Story by Fritz Thompson Of the Journal *Photographs by Richard Pipes Of the Journal

Lighted scenes of Nativity events have been popular attractions in coal-mining town since 1946

You might say a couple of New Mexico coal mines contributed to one of the most enduring and popular Christmas displays in the state.

In the mid-1940s, when coal was king, mines near Madrid and Raton brought people and money to the two areas. Madrid responded with a regionally recognized, lighted yuletide display that was the envy of other towns, Raton included.

"We should do something like that," was the collective thought in Raton, whose burgeoning economy, too, was built on coal. …

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