FOUR FUN-FILLED YULE WEEKENDS HIGHLIGHT EUREKA SPRINGS’ CHRISTMAS SEASON
Christmas holidays in Eureka Springs offer a full schedule of traditional events beginning November 24 through the month of December. The first four weekends have been frontloaded to start the holidays off in style.
>Shop Small Saturday on November 24 encourages folks to shop throughout Eureka playing “Shop Small Saturday Scavenger Hunt”. The first 100 participants will receive a local retail, dining or attraction gift certificate and a “Shop Small” bag at the hunt’s starting point, the Eureka Clothing Company at 31 Spring Street.
>Santa In The Park brings Ol’ Saint Nick to Basin Spring Park from 2:30 to 4:30 that afternoon giving kids of all ages a chance to sit in Santa’s lap while posing for a selfie.
>Live Entertainment will fill the park all afternoon with the sounds of the season provided by Kids’ Choice award-winners, momandpop.
>Official Christmas Tree Lighting will see Eureka’s downtown holiday focal point become illuminated in Basin Spring Park during a festive ceremony beginning at 4:30 p.m. During the ceremony, the winners of the “Shop Small Saturday Scavenger Hunt” will be announced.
*Weekend of November 30-December 2 (Eureka Springs Christmas Festival)
>Christmas Parade of Lights on Friday, November 30 at 6p.m. will wind through downtown Eureka on Spring Street. Bands, floats and -of course- Santa Claus will form the festive, twinkling line of pageantry.
>Fire Fighters & Santa In The Park on Saturday, December 1 from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. This mixed ensemble of hard working volunteers will meet and greet visitors to Basin Spring Park.
>Annual Candlelight Tour of Homes typically sees around 800 revelers walking the established route later that day from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Eureka Springs Preservation Society has chosen a select number of iconic Victorian and historic homes -this year including Penn Castle- for ticket holders to see from the inside and out. This trip back in time has been voted “Best Eureka Holiday Event”.
> Crescent Hotel’s Annual Christmas Tree Forest Lighting Ceremony will have the ceremonial light switch flipped at 6 p.m. to “on” illuminating the more than 30 trees that will be adorning the holiday focal point of the hotel’s nearly 15 acres, The East Lawn. It should be noted that each tree is decorated by and for a local charity. rest
>16th Annual John Two Hawks Concert in the City Auditorium from 7 to 9 o’clock that evening. This Grammy-nominated recording artist will perform his favorite Christmas songs.
>Santa’s Brunch on Sunday, December 2, offers a feast from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. featuring Santa Claus from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. sitting in his big chair ready for families to gather for a family portrait with the jolly ol’ elf. Families are encouraged to bring a camera and an appetite for this annual event in the Crescent Hotel’s Crystal Dining Room. It should be noted that concerts performed by local musical groups are scheduled in this same room during weekdays around the noon-hour
>Frightfully Festive is a selection of Christmas ghost stories regaled at 9 p.m. Sunday in the Faculty Lounge of the Crescent Hotel.
*Weekend of December 6-9 (Weekend of Merrymaking)
>52nd Annual Silver Tea starts this weekend off a day early on Thursday afternoon. From 1:30 to 3:30 polished tea and coffee sets are gently tipped to fill the cups of patrons by the ladies of the St. James Episcopal Church, festooned in Victorian gowns. The entire Crystal Dining Room of the Crescent hotel is brimming with trays and trays of handmade holiday snacks and hors d’oeuvres.
>”Friday Night Fun” Kickoff with Santa is Friday night at 5 o’clock in the Fountain Garden of the Crescent Hotel. Holiday treats and yuletide surprises will be followed by ice skating –weather permitting- until 8.
>Holiday Radio Show featuring the Five & Dime Players may be “seen” on the stage of the Crescent Hotel’s Conservatory Friday evening at 6. Snacks and sipping will start the evening followed by a festive old-fashioned theatrical production from 7 to 8:30.
>The Night of Merrymaking is the Saturday night feature. From 5 to 8, this event offers free fun for the whole family. This Christmas event includes Community Caroling in Basin Spring Park with Kids’ Choice award-winners, momandpop; Living Windows that transform downtown store showroom windows into living art exhibits; Elfie Selfie Scavenger Hunt; Street Characters in The Snow; A Merry Dine-Around; Night of A Thousand Santas; and so much more.
> A Merry Dine-Around is Saturday evening from 5-9 and is a tasty adventurous, festive saunter to different dining locations downtown. More than a dozen eateries will themed sample plates and/or cocktails and ticket holders get to choose four to enjoy.
> Night of a Thousand Santas (or Krampus – you decide!) gives Saturday night visitors to Eureka’s Downtown Entertainment District a chance to come dressed as Santa (nice) or Krampus (naughty) and stroll along with your fellow Saint Nicks from 6 to 10 starting with the Pre-Party at Chelsea’s Corner Café. Following this hour featuring adult beverage availability, the Santa Stroll & Scavenger Hunt moving from one location to another then another, etc., making merry all the way.
>Ozarks Chorale Holiday Concert will take place on the stage at the city auditorium on Saturday at 7 p.m. for ticket holders. This mixed ensemble of angelic voices will perform an evening of harmonious holiday favorites.
*Weekend of December 14-16 (Home for The Holidays Weekend)
>A Eureka Christmas is a holiday concert on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. featuring Arkansas’ own Barrett Baber, from NBC’s popular “The Voice” television program. Barrett and his band will entertain along with Rachel Fields, the Northwest Arkansas Gospel Choir, plus a special visit from native Arkansan Shannon Wurst. This free show in THE Aud, Eureka’s city auditorium, requests that guests present non-perishable food items or cash donations at the door for local food banks.
Christmas comes but once a year, but Main Street Eureka Springs and its partners have tried to spread it out over a dozens of days. For more information, go to EurekaSpringsChristmas.com and ChristmasAtTheCrescent.com.