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As many parts of the country look to hide from the winter cold, Arkansas residents are just getting ready for fun-filled holiday season, chock-full of winter festivals to boot. Beginning in late November, the northern city of Fayetteville helps kick-off the holiday season with the annual Lights of the Ozarks Festival.
This winter wonderland runs all the way until the New Year, so visitors will have plenty of opportunities to visit downtown Fayetteville to catch a glimpse of the 500,000-light display. Furthermore, festival goers can take a ride in a horse-drawn carriage, enjoy the holiday music filling the air, and even witness the visit from Santa Claus.
Too, you’ll want to check out the University of Arkansas Razorback campus, which is also lit-up for the occasion. Just consider it U of A’s version of the holiday ham – we’ll call it the Holiday Hog. Arkansas’ capital is no strange to winter festivities as well. In fact, Little Rock hosts both the LANTERNS! Festival and the Arkansas Craft Guild’s Annual Christmas Showcase.
Annually celebrating the first full moon of the lunar year, LANTERNS! is ideal for all-ages, featuring plenty of winter treats and warm beverages along lighted walking paths, decorated with a collection of colorful lanterns and fire pits. The festival also features plenty of live entertainment, all at the Wildwood Park for the Arts.
Likewise, the Arkansas Craft Guilds Annual Christmas Showcase has been delighting for over 30 years. In early December each year, over 100 qualified artists present a collection of handcrafted goods and fine arts, alongside live music and plenty of holiday family-fun. Get some holiday shopping done early – the showcase is hosted at the State Convention Center.
The fine folks in Jacksonville – just to the north of the Little Rock metro area and North Little Rock – host a holiday festival of their own. The Jacksonville Christmas Parade has been a staple of Main Street for over 55 years. So if you’re in the area during the first week December, keep your eyes peeled – this parade is not to be missed.
Not to be left out, the community of Pine Bluff in southern Arkansas also features a historic holiday festival – the Enchanted Land of Lights and Legends has been delighting visitors and residents for roughly 20 years. Known as “Arkansas’ largest drive-through of holiday lights, “ the festival showcases an extravagant, 1.3-mile light display at Jefferson County Park for the entire month of December.