The Benton Courier

Benton, Saline County part of Arkansas Trail of Holiday Lights

Arkansas Tourism

‘Tis the season for the Arkansas Trail of Holiday Lights, and Benton and Saline County are a featured attraction on that festive trail.

A statewide celebration of the holiday season, the Arkansas Trail of Holiday Lights kicked off Thanksgiving weekend and continues now through the end of the year. Towns across The Natural State are taking part with events and activities.

For more than 25 years, Arkansas residents and travelers have enjoyed the annual holiday tradition of the Trail of Holiday Lights. Cities and towns get into the spirit, decking the halls and bringing friends and families together to celebrate.

Thanks to Arkansas’ mild climate, Arkansans and visitors never find a shortage of attractions to see and things to do in winter in The Natural State. That’s especially true during the holidays when the Arkansas Trail of Holiday Lights glistens across the state. Cities and towns across Arkansas get into the spirit, decking the halls and bringing people together. Tourism industry partners across the state are making sure their events are following strict guidelines to help keep you and your family safe.

Festivals and events held in large venues on brisk days are the perfect backdrop for a weekend getaway.

There are plenty of outdoor winter activities to enjoy, including hiking and horseback riding trips on incredible trails, unforgettable games of golf on fantastic courses, watching wildlife and enjoying worldclass trout fishing in Arkansas’ great outdoors.

In Saline County, the official lighting of the Courthouse will be held at 6 p.m. Monday during the Christmas Parade. Santa Claus will be at the Courthouse Gazebo immediately following the parade for free pictures, hot chocolate and cookies. He will also be at the Gazebo on December 8th, 14th, 15th, and 18th.

The lights will be on from dusk until 11 p.m. each evening through Jan. 1.

During the holiday season, the Downtown Benton Farmer’s Market will be the site of numerous holiday events, including:

Dec. 1-31: Ice

Skating Rink (online signup required);

Dec. 4: Saline County Christmas Parade

6 p.m. and Santa at Courthouse;

Dec. 5: Christmas Craft Making for Kids 5:30 to 7 p.m.;

Dec. 6: Hot Dogs & Smores with Benton Fire Department 5:30 to 7 p.m.;

Dec. 7: Empact 1 Foundation 5:30 to 7 p.m.;

Dec. 8: Santa at Courthouse (Special Needs Night) 6 to 8 p.m.;

Dec. 9: My Saline Christmas Cookie Contest from 1 to 3 p.m. and Christmas Wreath Making w/ Saline Co. Library from 4 to 6 p.m.;

Dec. 11: UAMS Christmas Cookies & Card Making 5:30 to 7 p.m.;

Dec. 12: CADC - Hot Cocoa 5:30 to 7 p.m.;

Dec. 13: Reindeer games with Benton Parks 5:30 to 7 p.m.;

Dec. 14: Popcorn With Benton Police Department from 5:30 to 7 p.m. & Santa in the Gazebo at Courthouse from 6 to 8 p.m.;

Dec. 15: Santa in the Gazebo at Courthouse from 6 to 8 p.m.;

Dec. 16: MYAC Students Soup/Chili Cookoff from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. / MYAC Students Cookie Decorating from 2 to 4 p.m. / Santa at Courthouse from 6 to 8 p.m.;

Dec. 18: B&G Club STEM Activities from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 19: Letters to Santa & Reindeer Prance from 5:30 to 7 p.m.;

Dec. 20: HCFCU Christmas Cookie Decorating from 5:30 to 7 p.m.;

Dec. 21: Story Time With Saline Co. Library 10:30 a.m.;

Dec. 22: Letters to Santa, 8 Foot Stocking Giveaway 6 p.m.


Celebrate the beauty of the season in an outdoor winter garden.

The winter garden festival runs until Dec. 31 (closed Christmas day). The gardens will be open daily for the holiday lights display from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Purchase tickets online at Admission prices: $20 adults, $5 ages 4-12, and free ages 3 and younger. Golf cart tours are available on a limited, first come first served basis and are $15 per person in addition to admission. There are no reservations for golf cart tours. As always, members are admitted with a current membership card and photo


Glisten in Greenbrier

Central Arkansas’ newest holiday tradition is geared to ignite that holiday cheer.

The event features a gorgeous light display, ice skating rink, and Piccolo Zoppé Winter Circus, and carousel.

Beginning Saturday, Dec. 2, Glisten in Greenbrier will kick off with an exciting ice skating rink ribbon cutting with Santa at 3 p.m. sponsored by First Arkansas Bank and Trust followed by a tree lighting ceremony and music sponsored by First Service Bank at 5:30.

Enjoy the rink and the lights daily Monday-Thursday 6 to 9 p.m., Fridays 6 to 10 p.m., Saturday 1 to 10 p.m., and Sundays 4 to 9 p.m. Glisten will be closed Christmas Eve, and Christmas day. and will end Dec. 31.

The beautiful Anthony Chapel at Garvan Woodland Gardens is the perfect place to enjoy the thrilling music of the Christmas season. On Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 6:30 p.m. the Chapel will be filled with the rich sound of English Handbells, inspiring orchestral music, and delightful vocal renditions of Christmas classics and modern compositions. Locally produced by the staff and students of Ouachita Hills Academy in

Amity, this program promises to get you into a holiday spirit and to fill your soul with the rich sounds of Christmas.

Composed of young people from many parts of the country, the Ringers of Hope touring Bell Choir has had the privilege of sharing the thrilling music of English Handbells with audiences all over the United States. The variety of techniques and unique renditions of hand bell music are a perfect fit to experience the joys of Christmas. Come, be inspired and enjoy this outstanding musical production.


Admission: $20 for GWG members and

$30 for non-members. Tickets include complimentary admission to view the holiday light display on the night of the concert (up to a $25 value). With over 4.5 million lights, the exhibit is one of the most impressive and anticipated Christmas light displays in the South. Tickets to the concert and the lights may be purchased online at: https://www.

Garvan Woodland Gardens, Hot Springs

10th Annual Ringers of Hope Bell Choir & More Christmas Musical Concert





Alberta Newspaper Group