‘Tis the Season to Sparkle in Arkansas

WORDS Catherine Frederick and courtesy Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
IMAGES courtesy Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

Dec 1, 2023 | Featured, Travel

Many communities in Arkansas began putting up their light displays and planning seasonal activities months ago, and now they are just waiting for you! More than fifty communities around our great state participate in time-honored traditions, offering everything from caroling, to tree and town lighting, to open houses, to parades and visits from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

These are only a few of the communities taking part this year. More information can be found at Arkansas.com and we highly encouraged you to visit the Chamber websites for each city listed to ensure event information has not been changed.

Holiday lights will illuminate the square through New Year’s Day. Lights on the Square are on from dusk until dawn. Continuing in the holiday spirit, the DBI annual Christmas parade starts at 11am on December 9. 

This is one of the largest light displays in the northeast corner of Arkansas. The Lights of the Delta are Blytheville’s contribution, with over six million sparklers and more than fifty-six major motion displays that illuminate the 1.5-mile drive surrounded by lakes and trees.

Chick-fil-A Illuminate features a Ferris wheel, mini-train rides for kids, live music, a food truck, horse-drawn carriage rides, photo opportunities with an oversized snowman and gingerbread man, and, of course, a visit from Santa Claus!

Enjoy the treasured celebration of holiday lights on Downtown Square each evening from 5pm to 1am. Entertainment, hot beverages, and festive holiday music make the Lights of the Ozarks an event that cannot be missed. More than 500,000 lights will remain on through December 31.

Enjoy holiday markets, take a ride through thousands of lights on the Creekmore Holiday Express, tour window displays along Garrison Avenue, and help adorn Fort Smith National Cemetery with thousands of wreaths to honor veterans! Don’t forget about all the holiday performances by the Fort Smith Symphony, Western Arkansas Ballet, Fort Smith Little Theatre, Community School of the Arts, and more!

The Trail of Lights features 140 displays which adorn Bell Park with thousands of LED lights in Greenwood! There are several events scheduled at the Ed Wilkinson Pavilion at Bell Park throughout the month of December. Discover them all at greenwoodarkansas.com.

Hot Springs festoons its historic downtown with lights, while Garvan Woodland Gardens shines with more than four million lights throughout seventeen acres. The most celebrated outdoor light display in Arkansas for the holiday season runs through December 31. No pets allowed. Tickets are required and patrons are encouraged to purchase in advance.

The city of Paris will light more than 100,000 sparkling lights and features the only Eiffel Tower in Arkansas. Meet the Grinch at the Paris Square on December 15 starting at 5pm. Enjoy the magical downtown, have your photo with the Grinch and Santa and enjoy cookies and cocoa from Farmer’s Bank & Trust.

Jump on the Holiday Pajama Train! For a schedule and ticket prices, call A & M Railroad at 800.687.8600 or visit amrailroad.com. This year’s Downtown Christmas Parade’s theme is “Holiday in Whoville” and is free to attend!

Do South Magazine

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