The City of Arkadelphia, the Arkadelphia Alliance and Area Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Arkadelphia association are working together to ensure “Yule Love Christmas In Arkadelphia” this year
By EMMA BROWN | City of Arkadelphia
This year’s holiday event calendar features over 10 events ranging from family fun nights with train rides and petting zoos to shopping extravaganzas.
“This year is all about the kids,” City of Arkadelphia Special Events Manager Halle Posey said. “We have seven events planned in Prancer’s Plaza, and the majority feature specific programming for children and families.”
This will be the second-year city officials install its mini holiday village, Prancer’s Plaza. Sponsored by local businesses and organizations, city officials strive to create a “Hallmark” movie type scene with the various storefront cutouts and holiday décor.
“Jason White of White’s Artworks did a phenomenal job on Prancer’s Plaza in 2022, and we want to show it off,” Posey said. “We’ll be reorienting Prancer’s Plaza this year to be more visible throughout Downtown. Jason is coming back to touchup some of the storefronts that were damaged in all of the rain last year, as well as updating storefronts as necessary.”
Sponsorship opportunities are available for Prancer’s Plaza. Contact Chamber of Commerce EVP Tara Rollins for more information.
In addition to revamping Prancer’s Plaza, city officials are hosting seven (7) new events in the space this holiday season. These events will feature a variety of attractions, including: Carriage rides, paint nights, bounce houses, food trucks and more.
“Christmas is a fan-favorite for our residents,” Posey said. “We’re excited to provide them with multiple opportunities to engage with one another, and make tons of memories this holiday season.
For more information on the Yule Love Christmas In Arkadelphia events, see below.
Holiday Open House – Sunday, November 19
Hosted by the Arkadelphia Alliance and Area Chamber of Commerce, the Holiday Open House is an opportunity for area residents to shop local ahead of the holiday season.
The Holiday Open House is an annual event in Clark County. Select businesses hold special hours the Sunday before Thanksgiving to encourage local shopping. Some businesses may run special promotions, while others may feature specialty items high on people’s wish lists.
The 2023 Holiday Open House will be held on Sunday, November 19. More details can be found on the chamber’s website.
Annual Christmas Parade – Thursday, December 7
The annual Christmas Parade is a true holiday tradition in Arkadelphia, Arkansas.
Hosted by the Arkadelphia Christmas Parade Committee, area businesses, organizations, schools and community members line Main Street to celebrate the holiday season.
The parade features a variety of floats and performances, and always ends a special appearance by the one and only, Santa and Mrs. Claus.
This year’s Christmas Parade will begin at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 7. For more information or to sign up for the annual Christmas Parade, CLICK HERE.
Christmas Kick-Off – Thursday, December 7
Immediately following the annual Christmas Parade, city officials will be hosting a Christmas Kick-Off celebration in Prancer’s Plaza.
The celebration will include the grand re-opening of Prancer’s Plaza, holiday storefront activities, games and bounce houses, pictures with Santa Claus, a hot chocolate stand, food trucks, holiday cocktails and more.
“There is no better way to kick-off the holiday season in Arkadelphia than with the annual Christmas Parade,” Posey said. “Our goal with the Christmas Kick-Off is to keep the celebration going a little longer, and keep our residents downtown to celebrate the start of the season.”
The Christmas Kick-Off will begin immediately following the annual Christmas Parade and end at 9:00 p.m.
More details can be found on the city’s social media channels @arkadelphiaar, and on the Yule Love Christmas in Arkadelphia Facebook page.
Country Christmas Night – Friday, December 8
Horses and rabbits and pigs – Oh my! All of these animals and more will be in Prancer’s Plaza on Friday, December 8 for Country Christmas Night.
The event features a petting zoo, horse-drawn carriage rides, hot chocolate and coffee, as well as a “Letters to Santa” writing station.
The Country Christmas Night will begin at 6:00 p.m. and end at 8:00 p.m. in Prancer’s Plaza.
Blitzen’s Bargain Market – Saturday, December 9
Stock up on stocking stuffers at the third annual Blitzen’s Bargain Market!
The craft vendor show is set for Saturday, December 9 at the Arkadelphia Recreation Center.
“Blitzen’s Bargain Market truly offers a variety of unique finds,” Posey said. “From custom crafts and home décor to makeup and apparel – You’re bound to find something for every person on your holiday shopping list!”
In addition to the craft show inside, food trucks will be set up outside the Recreation Center during the event.
Blitzen’s Bargain Market will begin at 9:00 a.m. and end at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 9.
Sounds of Christmas Night – December 13 & 20
On Wednesday, December 13 and Wednesday, December 20, area choir and hand bell groups have been invited to bring the sounds of Christmas to Prancer’s Plaza.
From 6:00 – 7:00 p.m., local choirs will be performing iconic Christmas carols in Prancer’s Plaza.
“We cannot wait to hear the beautiful performances in Prancer’s Plaza,” Posey said. “These events are going to bring Prancer’s Plaza to life, and, hopefully, give everyone a chance to reflect on the real reason for the season.”
City officials are still searching for interested groups to perform in Prancer’s Plaza at the Sounds of Christmas.
Storefront Sponsor Meet and Greet – Thursday, December 14
The Yule Love Christmas In Arkadelphia event calendar continues with the Storefront Sponsor Meet and Greet on Thursday, December 14.
From 5:00 – 6:00 p.m., area residents are invited to Prancer’s Plaza to meet the businesses and organizations who bring the holiday spirit to life in Downtown Arkadelphia: The sponsors!
Similar to the Christmas Kick-Off, sponsors and invited to set up in front of their storefronts to provide activities or just say “Hello!”
More information regarding the Storefront Sponsor Meet and Greet will be released via social media in the next few weeks.
Painting in Prancer’s Plaza – Thursday, December 14
Create a holiday masterpiece among the sights and sounds of Prancer’s Plaza!
Michelle Eads of South AR Creations will be hosting a paint night in Prancer’s Plaza on Thursday, December 14. The paint night will begin at 6:00 p.m. and end by 8:00 p.m.
“So many people travel to participate in fun, instructor-led paint nights- We figured why not have one here?” Posey said. “Michelle is incredible. Not only is she a talented artist, but she’s one of our downtown merchants. We’re excited to have her lead our paint night in Prancer’s Plaza!”
More information regarding the Painting in Prancer’s Plaza night will be released via social media in the next few weeks.
Holiday Movie Night – Thursday, December 21
The last week of holiday programming in Prancer’s Plaza will include a Holiday Movie Night on Thursday, December 21.
City officials will be showing “The Polar Express” starting at 6:00 p.m. Hot chocolate and coffee will be available for purchase, and s’mores stations will be set up throughout the event.
“We had a lot of technical difficulties with our Halloween Movie Night, but we are happy to report those issues have been addressed,” Posey said.
Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the Holiday Movie Night.
Christmas Send-Off – Friday, December 22
The Yule Love Christmas In Arkadelphia events will conclude with a Christmas Send-Off on Friday, December 22.
The event will feature holiday train rides, pictures with Santa, a Christmas cookie decorating station and a hot chocolate and coffee stand.
“Everyone knows that Santa Claus has hundreds of helpers in malls throughout America who spread holiday cheer- And we have a very special Santa joining us for our send-off,” Posey said. “Mall of America’s Santa Larry rearranged his entire schedule to join us in Arkadelphia. We are excited to welcome him to SW Arkansas and hope everyone can join us on December 22!”
All Yule Love Christmas In Arkadelphia events are free to attend.
For the latest information, follow the city’s social media channels @arkadelphiaar, and the Yule Love Christmas in Arkadelphia Facebook page.