Neighborhood opts out of city’s popular luminaria bus tour

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The City of Albuquerque’s luminaria tour sold out in less five hours Friday, shattering its previous record. But the tour isn’t the same as it was in previous years; it’s shorter.

Neighbors in the Los Altos neighborhood said being a part of the city’s bus tour was becoming a problem.

“The fumes from the bus, then they just speed through,” Karen Cotter said. “People on the street who like to walk the tour don’t feel safe.”

Cotter said the tradition that has been around since 1951 was not the same. Cotter and the rest of the neighbors decided they didn’t want the buses coming through their neighborhood anymore, so they contacted the city.

“We tried working with them at first,” she said. “But this is what we decided.”

Since last year the neighborhood opted out. Neighbors said in a way, it’s better.

“We brought it back to what it originally was,” Cotter said. “They were destroying what we like to consider a very beautiful thing.”

Eliminating the Los Altos neighborhood has shortened the tour to about 45 minutes, but what hasn’t changed is the number of people interested in going.

“It was exciting we were watching sales go before the box office opened and we sold about 1,200 tickets in ten minutes,” Laura Perea said.

This year all six tours sold out by noon.

Cotter said the Los Altos neighborhood will still be decked out in luminarias and that everyone is welcome, drivers included. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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