- The annual Downtown Conway Christmas Open House is on November 13 from 1 to 4 p.m. Other holiday festivities include Small Business Saturday on November 26 with the Conway Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration that evening. The event will “flip the switch” to light the largest artificial Christmas tree in the state, along with downtown Conway from Rogers Plaza to Simon Park and surrounding areas. On December 10, in coordination with the Conway Christmas Parade at 6 p.m., musicians will play up and down Oak and Front streets. There will also be performances by the Conway Symphony Orchestra.
- The holiday spirit takes over Sherwood Forest from November 28 to December 30. This mile-long trail of spectacular lights features reindeer in a soda shop, the Sherwood Express, Santa Claus and a field of angels. Admission is free with donations accepted; proceeds fund the lighting. Non-perishable food donations are given to a local food pantry. Please note: The entrance has reversed directions this year. Now, patrons can turn left past Sylvan Hills High School and look for the lighted arch entryway in the Sherwood Sports Complex parking lot. Join the community to watch the annual cheerful Christmas procession down Kiehl Avenue at 2 p.m. on December 3.
- The city of Jacksonville will kick off the Christmas season with its Holiday Lights Ceremony on December 1 at 6:30 p.m. at Jacksonville City Hall. Santa Claus will make his first stop in Jacksonville on December 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the 59th Annual Christmas Parade. Join the festivities as Main Street is lighted with Christmas Spirit.
- A Christmas Parade in North Little Rock takes place December 4 at 3 p.m. followed by the Northern Lights tree lighting ceremony. The parade will begin on Pershing Boulevard and continues down Main Street through the Argenta district. After the parade, the Northern Lights Festival begins at 4:30 p.m., with carolers, Santa and Mrs. Claus, hot chocolate and candy canes and the tree lighting.
Side Trip 1
A great holiday side-trip from Conway is to Morrilton, about 20 miles west on I-40. Christmas in Morrilton begins with the annual parade downtown on December 1 at 5:30 p.m., followed by Night of Luminaries at the University of Arkansas Community College at Morrilton. Take a drive to the Nicholson Family Lights on Highway 95, four miles north of Morrilton, to experience a lighted driving tour of the neighborhood, on display until December 31. For more information, contact Rhonda Tanner at 501-215-1457.
Side Trip 2
Heading northeast from Jacksonville are two more terrific opportunities to get in the Christmas spirit, in Beebe and Searcy. Beebe’s Annual Lighted Christmas Parade will begin at 6 p.m. on December 3, departing from the Beebe School Campus and continuing on Main and College streets. Don’t miss the Daniel Park light display on Main Street! Beebe’s Christmas Festival will be held at 5:30 p.m. on December 10 at Daniel Park.
Down the road in Searcy, the spirit of old-fashioned Christmas is alive and well. The Holiday of Lights begins November 22 with two lighting ceremonies, downtown and in Berryhill Park. New this year are an ice-skating rink in Spring Park and the state’s largest Santa Claus collection on display in historic downtown. Light displays throughout the city, around the historic White County Courthouse and the Rialto Theater, as well as on the campus of Harding University, will dazzle the whole family.