December Holiday Primer


In one day December will be upon us and with that comes a wide range of holiday tinged events taking place around the state. Here is a primer on a few of them! For starters, the El Dorado Christmas Parade is this Thursday (Dec. 1). The event starts at 7 and annually draws thousands of spectators. The parade, the largest in South Arkansas, begins at the intersection of 18th Street and North West Avenue. It will then proceed along North West Avenue to the downtown area and will end at Jefferson and Peach Streets. The Festival of Lights at the courthouse, city hall, and throughout town can also be seen until the end of the month.

Historic Washington State Park’s annual Christmas and Candlelight celebrations are slated for this Saturday ( Dec. 3) and next Saturday (Dec. 10). Homes in the park are adorned with pine cones, grapevines, magnolia and evergreens and candlelit streets provide a path to stroll through the restored village. Daylight tours are from 1-5 and candlelight tours begin at 5 when thousands of luminaries are lit. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children 14 and younger. The park will also be hosting an open house both days in their 1874 Visitor Center Court House. The “Christmas Past Open House” is from 2-5 pm, and includes hot cider and tours of the 1874 Courthouse and upstairs courtroom. William’s Tavern Restaurant will also be open. For more information visit or call 870-983-2684.

Next Thursday ( Dec. 8Texarkana hosts their 27th annual Main Street Christmas Parade. “It will be sparkling this year,” said Nita Fran Hutcheson, Main Street Texarkana’s Executive Director.  “All floats, bands, cars, marching units (even Santa) were encouraged to light their entries for an ‘electric’ effect.” And, according to parade directors, the camels, which served as parade marshals last year, are back ( there are three of them), compliments of an “Anonymous Camel Lover.” One change involves returning to the traditional parade route and as always, the parade will end at the U.S. Post Office/Federal Building with the traditional lighting of the Community Christmas Tree. Santa will be on-hand to flip the switch and visit with kids.
In Ashdown, the historic Little River County Courthouse, built in 1907 and still in use today, is already completely covered in lights.
Hot Springs also is kicking in gear for the holidays. The Christmas trees are already up at Arlington Lawn Park, which is always a great sight to see.  Through Dec 31 there is also Lights on the Landscape at Garvan Woodland Gardens. The event, which includes more than 1.7 million holiday lights, is from 5-9 daily. Also on Dec. 5 there is a Christmas Parade through downtown. It’s the oldest continuous Christmas parade in the South and begins at 6:30 p.m. The next night is the lighting of the Garland County Courthouse at 6. On Dec. 10 is the Quapaw/Prospect Historic District Luminaries. During this event 16,000 luminaries light up historic homes and outline streets of the Quapaw/Prospect neighborhood with candlelight. The event starts during the evening hours, beginning at dusk, weather permitting. Area boundaries include the loop beginning at the Prospect-Quapaw intersection adjacent to downtown Hot Springs and ending at the Prospect-West Grand intersection.
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