Holiday Happenings in Hot Springs

The Schueck Rose Tree.

Every year, Holiday Lights is a go-to destination for those that enjoy vibrant displays.  The event transforms Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs into a whimsical winter landscape through December 31. This year, visitors will be greeted with a surprise as the gardens have increased the amount of lights featured to 4 million (last year there were around 2 million). These decorations are spread throughout 17-acres of the gardens and it takes about two and a half months to put them up. Popular displays people seek out include the Schueck Rose Tree, a 50 foot animated tree.

Of note: “Santa in the Gardens” at Holiday Lights takes place every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night before Christmas from 6-7:30 p.m. During this time, Kris Kringle makes an appearance to meet and greet kids.  As for admission details, members receive unlimited admission and for non-members, admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children (6-12 years) and kids ages 5 and younger get in free. Garvan is closed on Christmas day. For more details call 501-2626-9300 or visit

Terry Wallace.

In more holiday news, longtime Oaklawn Park track announcer Terry Wallace will be the grand marshal  for this year’s Christmas Parade in Hot Springs. It goes through downtown and begins is at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, December 9. Wallace served 37 consecutive years as Oaklawn’s track announcer and during his tenure, he became one of the most recognizable voices in Arkansas, calling such greats as champions Temperence Hill, Smarty Jones, and Afleet Alex and Horse of the Years Cigar, Azeri, Curlin, Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. Wallace did 20,191 consecutive races, ending his legendary streak on January 28, 2011. This year’s parade theme is “It’s a Wonderful Life – in Hot Springs “ More details can be found at