by Adena J. White | Photos courtesy of the Conway Chamber of Commerce
Taking place each year in downtown Conway, Chick-fil-A Illuminate is a high-energy kickoff to the holiday season. More than 2,000 people gather to light the state’s tallest Christmas tree, tour downtown Conway via horse-drawn carriages, visit Santa, or ride a four-story Ferris wheel.
“Chick-fil-A Illuminate is a multi-generational event,” says Ed Linck, chief operating officer for the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce, the organizer of the annual event. “There is something for people of all ages. By starting the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we’re establishing a tradition for families and extended families.”
From sponsor contests and giveaways to holiday attractions, this year’s Chick-fil-A Illuminate promises to be the biggest one ever.
“We’re already several months into planning for the holiday season downtown,” says Kim Williams, executive director of the Conway Downtown Partnership. “We’ve expanded and upgraded our holiday lights. We’ve grown the scope and quality of the celebration. It’s a wonderful opportunity to showcase our retailers and restaurants to people from all over central Arkansas.”
Chick-fil-A Illuminate’s kickoff events also coincide with Small Business Saturday, a national holiday-shopping initiative designed to promote locally owned businesses.
“Downtown is home to our largest concentration of locally owned businesses and independent retailers,” Williams adds. “They’re important to our economy year-round, but during the holidays, they’re an amenity to thousands of visitors.”
Chick-fil-A Illuminate 2019 begins Saturday, November 30, with a day full of activities. Lights, amusements and concessions will operate downtown through the end of the year. The season of events is presented by Conway Regional, First Service Bank, Lumber One, Crain Hyundai of Conway, Conway Corporation, Miller Spectacular Shows and Snap-on Equipment.
Saturday, November 30
2 p.m. – 7 p.m.
• Pictures with Santa
• Horse and carriage rides
• Miniature train rides
• Ferris Wheel
After November 30, these downtown events will operate every day through the end of the year.