Tis the Season

Jill M. Rohrbach

Tis the Season for gift giving and holiday cheer! You can tell by the events going on this weekend and throughout December in the Ozarks and River Valley. If you’re looking for fun, or places to buy presents, here are a few ideas:

The 11th annual Block Street Holiday Art Sale takes place Dec. 2-4 at Mike Shirkey’s Goodfolk House, located at 229 N. Block St. in Fayetteville. The lineup for this season’s celebration of the arts includes some of Northwest Arkansas’s most respected visual artists, who run the gamut from paintings, ceramics, jewelry, paper goods, photography, textile arts and other unique handmade works. The art sale is held in the Goodfolk House, which is also home to Shirkey’s music series. Call 479-442-6541 for more information.
On Dec. 3 in Fayetteville is the Holiday Market at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. you can shop professional, juried fine arts and crafts along with baked goods, gifts, evergreen decorations, honey, jam, and local produce at this beautiful open air setting. Model trains are set up indoors. Admission is free, and the gardens are located at 4703 N. Crossover Road. Visit www.fayettevillefarmersmarket.org or call 479-236-2910 for details.

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The John Two-Hawks Holiday Concert is Dec. 3 at The Auditorium in Eureka Springs. The show begins at 7 p.m. Grammy nominated recording artist John Two-Hawks shares the spirit of the season at this annual concert. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Visit www.johntwohawks.com or call 479-253-5826 for details.

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Don’t miss Santa Claus on the Children’s Christmas Train on Dec. 3. Santa will ride the Arkansas and Missouri Railroad from Springdale to Rogers and Fayetteville. Santa’s workshop will be set up at The Depot on Dickson Street in Fayetteville, where you can also enjoy music and entertainment. Similar offerings take place in Rogers and Springdale. Call 479-725-4017 for more information.

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Eureka Springs’ 29th annual Christmas Tour of Homes takes place Dec. 3 in the city’s historic area. The attention to detail in each home makes this tour truly special for the history buff and those who love seeing architectural works of art. Admission is $20 for adults. Children 12 and under can take the tour at no charge. Visit www.eurekaspringspreservationsociety.org or call 479-253-9585 for details.
The city’s 9th annual Christmas Ball is Dec. 9 at the 1905 Basin Park Hotel Ballroom. The event includes complimentary hors d’oeuvres and sweets. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door. Proceeds benefit the Eureka Springs Historical Museum. Visit www.eurekaspringshistoricalmuseum.org or call 479-253-9417 for details.

The 5th annual Sweet Treats Cookie Tour in Eureka Springs is Dec. 10. The event is a self-guided tour of 12 bed and breakfast inns, serving yummy sweet treats with recipes for your collection. It is sponsored by the Alliance of Better Bed & Breakfasts. Call 888-567-2422 for more information.

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Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park’s annual Christmas Open House is Dec. 3-4 in Prairie Grove. Christmas will be in the air as in the days of the Civil War. While food is cooking in the Latta House kitchen, members of the local Wool and Wheel Handspinners Guild and the Dogwood Lace groups will be demonstrating spinning, weaving, and lace making. There will be guided tours through the historic Latta and Morrow houses. Admission is free. Visit www.arkansasstateparks.com/prairiegrovebattlefield or call 479-846-2990 for more information.

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The very popular Caroling in the Caverns event takes place Dec. 3-4, 17-18 at Blanchard Springs Caverns in Mountain View. Marvel at the beauty of astonishing formations coupled with the sounds of caroling resounding through the caverns as musicians perform your favorite old-time Christmas songs. Visit www.YourPlaceInTheMountains.com or call 870-269-8068 for details.

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Kenny Rogers is easily considered one the music industry’s most recognizable icons. Head to Fayetteville on Dec. 7 to see Kenny Rogers Christmas and Hits at the Walton Arts Center, located on Dickson Street in the city’s entertainment district. With his distinctive raspy vocals and trademark white beard, Rogers has delivered countless memorable songs that have drawn fans from rock, pop, soul and country audiences for more than 50 years. Visit www.waltonartscenter.org or call 479-571-2747 for tickets or more information.

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Ozark Folk Center State Park in Mountain View offers an Ozark Holiday Weekend on Dec. 9-11. Spend a relaxing weekend listening to carols on the courthouse square, touring the park’s craft village, and visiting with the center’s artisans in their workshops. See how handcrafted Ozark treasures are created and purchase one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts in an old-fashioned holiday atmosphere. Special Ozark Holiday Weekend rates in the Cabins at Dry Creek are available. Contact the park at 870-269-3851
for details.

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The 5th annual Holiday House and Light Tour take place Dec. 10 in Calico Rock. This is a guided tour through homes decorated for the holidays. Traditionally there have been two historic homes, churches, and two modern homes. The event ends with a reception at the Artisan Cooperative. Admission is $5 per person or $20 per family. Visit www.calicorocket.org or call 870-297-4129 for more information.

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Russellville’s Downtown Art Walk & Holiday Open House takes place Dec. 2. During this magical holiday event, participating downtown businesses feature talented area artists and their one-of-a-kind works just in time for holiday gift giving. Downtown will be dressed for the holidays and guests can enjoy art, live music, and refreshments. The Downtown Art Walks are held quarterly on the first Friday in March, June, September and December from 5 to 8 p.m. The art walks are a project of the Russellville Downtown Association, a committee of Main Street Russellville, in partnership with the Arkansas River Valley Arts Center. Call 479-967-1437 or visit www.mainstreetrussellville.com.

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The Fort Smith Symphony presents A Jubilant Christmas, a fun-filled evening of traditional holiday music for the family, on Dec. 3 at the Arkansas Best Corporation Performing Arts Center. American baritone Jubilant Sykes has been the featured soloist with many of the world’s finest orchestras and now performs with another outstanding orchestra–the Fort Smith Symphony. Admission, based on seating location, is $35 or $30 for adults and $20 or $15 for students. Call 479-452-7575 or visit www.fortsmithsymphony.org for tickets or more information.

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Each holiday season, Van Buren offers its Living Windows displays. This year’s event is at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 3. Van Buren’s Historic Main Street becomes a living history lesson as merchants host live window displays depicting the city’s colorful history. Call 479-410-1024 or visit www.vanburen.org for more information.

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Tour beautifully decorated holiday homes from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 4 during the Logan County Museum Tour of Holiday Homes. Tickets are available the day of the tour from the museum, located at 202 N. Vine St. in Paris. All proceeds benefit the Logan County Museum. Admission is to be announced but is under $10. Call 479-963-3936 or visit www.logancountymuseum.com for more information.

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Set up on the bluffs of Spadra Park overlooking Lake Dardanelle and the Arkansas River to enjoy Spadra Marina’s Lighted Boat Parade on Dec. 16 and 17 in Clarksville. The boats leave the marina by 6 p.m. and travel east the length of Spadra Park where they circle around and pass for a second time. Event-goers can view the parade from automobiles, or sit under the stars. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be stopping at east boat ramp to visit with the kids. The event is free. Spadra Park is located at Exit 58 on Interstate 40. Call 479-754-5021 or visit www.spadramarina.com for more information.

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