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Over the last decade, the downtown El Paso area has undergone plenty of revitalization and will eventually be completely revamped under a plan which will see the private and public sector coming together. Even today, the area that surrounds the El Paso Museum of Art and the Canam Highway encloses tons of restaurants, entertainment options and other attractions.
Also called the Plaza de los Lagartos, San Jacinto Plaza lies at the heart of El Paso's historic downtown district. In fact, the name lagartos roughly translates into "alligator" and at one time there were actual live alligators in a pond that was once here. When the park was established, the owners created a large area for these crocodilians, however they were removed finally in 1975 due to vandals harming them. Today, the plaza pays homage to the alligators in the form of a sculpture which replaced the pond. In December, the plaza hosts the official Christmas Tree Lighting and during the rest of the year, the shade under the trees provides ample refuge from the Southwest heat.
The Chamizal National Memorial, with its large park, museum, gallery and 500-seat amphitheater, is a vibrant multi-functional hot spot for culturally diverse events and activities. The museum educates visitors on the 1963 settling of the US-Mexico border dispute and the amphitheater hosts the annual Siglo de Oro Drama Festival.