A scene from the Christmas Cantata, coming to the Rio Rancho Events Center for one performance on Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. (Courtesy photo)


You’ve heard of Christmas in July, and you know all about Christmas in December.

How about Christmas in October – in Rio Rancho?

The Rio Rancho Events Center will be the place to enjoy the “Gracias Christmas Cantata” on Oct. 6 at 7 p.m.

“Gracias Christmas Cantata” is actually three shows in one: what producers call a breathtaking nativity opera, a heartwarming musical with cherished Christmas carols; and a majestic rendition of Handel’s “Messiah.”

Gracias Choir & Orchestra has been working on the production for three years, thanks to the pandemic that kept it from touring, and it promises “good tidings that will never stop bringing waves of hope.”

You may have seen some of the tour’s workers around town already.

Kevin and Hannah Jackson helped sponsor the annual event, previously staged at Tingley Coliseum in Albuquerque, and this past weekend staged a big BBQ at their home for the workers who came in advance of the show, which began its U.S. tour Sept. 16 in Newark, N.J., and wraps it up Oct. 14 in Miami, Fla. The Rio Rancho stop is between an Oct. 4 show in Las Vegas, Nev., and Tulsa, on Oct. 7.

Tickets are free, but should be obtained in advance by calling 505-585-1656 or visiting christmascantata.us.

So that all attendees may enjoy the performance, children under the age of 5 will not be admitted.