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Spreading good cheer

An immigrant’s Christmas spirit spawns a jolly town event

Special to the Times | Krista Allen
The Tuba City Christmas tree is all lit up.

By Krista Allen
Special to the Times


Lucino Vega remembers breaking the piñata after a nine-day Las Posadas – a religious festival leading up to Christmas – when he was a child. He remembers the cups of coffee and the champurrado, the Mexican version of hot chocolate. Christmas was the greatest of times for the Mexico-born Vega, and still is.

But when Vega moved here five years ago from Albuquerque, he said the town did not deck the halls for Christmas nor offer motivation for the youngsters.

But now, Tuba City is one of those festive towns offering a little bit more every year than the standard holly jolly. “It was a ghost town,” said Vega, manager of Kentucky Fried Chicken on Maloney Street, about Tuba City when he first arrived.

“I asked, ‘What’s going on here?’ and I was told, ‘Yeah, nobody wants to get motivated.’ I said, ‘I’m (going to) light up KFC.’”

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