Experience the magic of the holidays in Arkansas with The Arkansas Trail of Holiday Lights
Experience the magic of the holidays in Arkansas
Photos available: www.ArkansasMediaRoom.com/press-releases/display.aspx?id=2751
The Arkansas Trail of Holiday Lights returns for its 22nd year with a statewide celebration of the holiday season featuring parades, lighting ceremonies, open houses, Santa visits, concerts and performances, live nativities, illuminated displays and more.
The Trail of Holiday Lights brochure is your passport to seasonal magic, highlighting events and activities throughout December in 54 communities across the state. The brochure is available online at www.Arkansas.com/TrailofHolidayLights and in print. Complimentary printed copies can be found at all Arkansas Welcome Centers and at participating Arvest, Subway and Best Western locations. You can also request a copy by calling 1-800-NATURAL or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now is the perfect time to take a look at the brochure and start planning your own holiday light adventure. Don’t forget to check the Trail’s Facebook page for inspiration at www.facebook.com/ArkansasTrailofHolidayLights. You can also share your own holiday photos with us on Facebook or on Instagram (@arkansas) using #ArkansasTrailofHolidayLights.
Explore highlights from each corner of the state:
This area of the state is a delight year-round, but it really shines during the holidays. Traditions include riding the Holiday Express Pajama Train on the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad, ice skating at Lawrence Plaza in Bentonville and attending the Great Passion Play in Eureka Springs. Fayetteville’s Lights of the Ozarks display, stretching from the downtown square to Dickson Street, is not to be missed!
North Central Arkansas
North Central Arkansas is known for small-town courthouse squares that will be decked out with lights and displays throughout the season, in particular in Batesville and Mountain View—and don’t forget Fairfield Bay’s Festival of Trees through December 15. For a unique experience, head to Blanchard Springs for Caroling in the Caverns, taking place through December 17.
Lights of the Delta in Blytheville is among the Mid-South’s largest lights festivals, featuring six million lights and almost 50 motion displays along a 15-mile drive. In Newport, you’ll find 125 lit trees throughout the city, as well as the region’s largest private lights display.
Some of Arkansas’s best-known lights displays are Crossett’s Christmas Wonderland, featured nationally on America’s Great Light Fight in 2015, and Pine Bluff’s Enchanted Land of Lights, which boasts Arkansas’s longest drive-through with more than 280 displays. Fans of old-timey Christmas will enjoy Marianna’s Victorian-themed city park.
For a truly magical walk in the woods, Garvan Gardens on Lake Hamilton is hard to top, with its colorful glow that can be seen from far and wide. Elsewhere in the region, daytime and candlelight strolls of historic homes adorned with period decorations channel the spirit of Christmases past, and a walking tour of the Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources in Smackover features more than 200,000 lights and a show by Santa’s rock band.
Elaborately lit trees are a feature in Central Arkansas, from the massive, two-story trees in Little Rock’s Capital Hotel lobby and the Capitol Building rotunda to downtown Conway’s 54-ft tree—the largest artificial tree in the state! Other favorites in the area include ice skating in Spring Park and strolling through Harding University’s cascading lights in Searcy and Sherwood Forest’s drive-through lights display.
For more information, visit www.Arkansas.com/TrailofHolidayLights.
Submitted by the Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism
May be used without permission. Credit line is appreciated:
“Arkansas Department of Parks & Tourism”
Our mailing address is:
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
One Capitol Mall
Little Rock, AR 72201
Ginger Smith joined OGTC in 2014 as a volunteer, and has lived in this area since 1972 when she moved to be near her parents, the late Doss and Vivian Burgess. Her late father was Independence County Appraiser and any time family, whether kids or grand kids, came to visit for even a short time, he would take them to A.D. Hill’s grocery store, and get them a soda pop and candy bar, see the talking bird there, and end up “checking out the great White River.” All the kids and grands have played on the banks there, picnicked, and played on the old train. Ginger is adamant, since she moved to Batesville, there is just no other place to raise a family. Her love for the area and desire to help promote it in her professional capacity led her to seek volunteering, and Charlie Morris, whom she met when she was a typesetter at the Daily Guard Newspaper, put her in touch with Cathy Drew, Executor Director of OGTC. She has been on board since then and says she has loved everything she has done and is proud to represent North Central Arkansas.
The last 20 years of her employment she worked for the late County Judge David Wyatt, West Elementary School Principal Jerry Harris, and Circuit Clerk Claudia Nobles and Judge John Kemp. At the Guard Office she says she made friends for a life time, and then the West Elementary teachers, students, and their families grew close to her forever. Her last job she was hired in a newly created position to collect felony fines and restitution. She was so proud that after three years she more than tripled the annual revenues that she retired! Her part-time retirement job was with the ortho docs, Drs. Allen and Angel where she also met many people from all over the area, and made another set of new friends! She is a published writer and has also written feature articles for the Batesville Guard TV Guide and the Arkansas Democrat Gazette.
She has a daughter, Misty Long Sparks, son-in-law Dloyd Sparks, and three grands, Dalton Lee, Victoria Lynn and Anna Rose, who own her heart, and three more heartbeat grands, Nico and Corbin of Washington, and a late granddaughter, Ginger Savannah. Her late husband, Ken Smith, was the Batesville Postmaster.
Totally retired now, Ginger offers her time and writing abilities to OGTC as she travels around the state and visits with so many nice folks, writes reviews, and tries to be a worthy representative for Ozark Gateway Tourism. She is a people person who really cares for all God has blessed us with in our beautiful state of Arkansas in the United States of America.