Kimberly J. Williams, travel writer
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism
For me, the holiday season means many things. But the thing I hold dearest in my heart… the thing I’ve been doing since I was a wee lass (yes, my grandfather’s family was Irish!)… is gazing adoringly at holiday lights! It’s a tradition my parents started with me before I could probably walk… and it’s still one of my absolute favorite things to do during the holidays.
In the Arkansas Delta, we’re lucky (and I’m thrilled!) to have three award-winning holiday lights displays in the region.
In Blytheville, it’s Lights of the Delta, one of the Mid-South’s largest holiday lighting festivals. Drive your way along a 1.5-mile lighted path featuring over 6 million lights and over 48 motion displays on 40 acres. Lights of the Delta is open every night beginning at 5:30 through Dec. 27. You can check out their website at www.LightsoftheDelta.com.
Head to Pine Bluff and the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Regional Park for the 21st annual Enchanted Land of Lights and Legends, one of Arkansas’s largest drive-thru holiday lights displays. Located along 1.3 miles of the park, visitors enjoy over 280 displays in over 170 locations. Admission is free but donations are accepted.
Christmas Wonderland, three miles north of Crossett, is a great choice for those wanting to get in the holiday spirit. This year marks the 32nd anniversary of the holiday event. In 2015, Christmas Wonderland was Arkansas’s first ABC Christmas Light Fight Champion. Visitors enjoy the oasis of stunning holiday lights, animated scenes, a drive-thru tunnel of lights and singing snowmen. There is a color-changing forest of lights and a scene based on the Christmas Story. Visitors will also enjoy bubble and snow machines, a light show and special visits from Frosty the Snowman. Christmas Wonderland opens Thanksgiving at 6 p.m. and is open nightly through Dec. 31 from 6-10 p.m. (and until 11 p.m. on weekends).