Here comes Santa Claus!
Editor’s note: The events featured in this article occurred in 2016, but we hear that this year’s will be the best yet. Find it on our Events page.
Santa season is almost here, and Santa’s going to be busy this year! Here’s a rundown of places where the Bearded One will be making an appearance—so get those wish lists ready!
The City of Beebe’s Annual Christmas Festival will take place Saturday, Dec. 10 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Stroll through Daniel Park to enjoy holiday light displays, music, refreshments, train rides and, of course, a visit with Santa, who will be on hand for the duration of this free event.
Benton welcomes Santa and his elves to town during its annual Christmas parade Monday, Dec. 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. They will make their first appearance at the end of the parade and the lighting of the courthouse. Benton must have been extra nice this year, because Santa will return to the gazebo on the courthouse lawn for photos (and free hot chocolate!) from 6 to 8 p.m. on Dec. 8, 13, 15, 20 and 22.
The Santa Shack is back for its 20th year in Cabot! The sleigh pulls up to the Wal-Mart Supercenter on Nov. 25, and Santa will be available Friday through Sunday until Dec. 18, with hours as follows: 6-8 p.m. Fridays; 9-11 a.m. 12-2, 3-5 and 6-8 p.m. Saturdays; and Sundays 1-3 and 4-6 p.m. From Dec. 19 through 23, he’ll take it a little easier, with visiting hours from 1 to 3 and 4 to 6 p.m. Visits and candy are free; photos are $3, which goes to Cabot City Beautiful.
Santa touches down in Conway early this year, lured down by the beacon of Arkansas’s largest artificial Christmas tree, which will be lit—along with much of surrounding downtown Conway—in a capstone to the city’s Small Business Saturday event, taking place on Nov. 26 from 2 to 6 p.m. Santa will be stationed in front of the tree, trying not to be overshadowed by the latest addition to this annual event—a Ferris wheel! Santa will return for the Christmas Parade on Dec. 10, beginning at 6 p.m. and running along Front Street from Deer to Mill.
It’s no surprise that Mr. Claus would have big plans for the capital city of Little Rock—and by big, we mean he better have a big bag of reindeer food, because they are going to be working overtime to get him to all of his many obligations. His stops include:
University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton‘s annual Night of Luminaries on Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. brings Santa to the college campus immediately following the Morrilton Christmas Parade, which begins downtown at 5:30.
In North Little Rock,Santa will resume his post in his sleigh in the McCain Mall‘s center court daily from Nov. 11 through Dec. 24. Photo packages start at $24.99; times vary, so for a complete schedule please visit the McCain Mall site.
Searcy has a big day planned with its 2nd annual Santa’s Snow Day, taking place Dec. 10 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the White County Fairground Merchants Building. Santa, Mrs. Claus (who seems to be keeping mostly to herself this year) and the elves are going to hang out all day for games, photos, hot cocoa and cider, cookies and candies, and a full day of shopping, contests, games, music and caroling.