Karla News

Mid America Celebrates the Holidays in Little Rock

Little Rock, Arkansas is a beautiful place to visit any time. Its location near the foothills of the Ouachita Mts. makes it an ideal place for people to get away and enjoy the fresh air and fall colors of these gentle hills.. Since the 1980s the city has grown and is becoming much more cosmopolitan. The city has grown to just over half a million in the greater metropolitan area and the expansion of civic organizations and activities for its citizens has become a drawing card for tourism as well.
The holiday season in Little Rock focuses on fireworks displays, holiday music and celebrations all over the city.

Start off December by visiting the Crafts fair where you can find all sorts of beautiful handmade items for your Christmas shopping list! All weekend, December 1 – 3, 2006 the Arkansas Craft Guild will present its 28th Christmas Showcase Statehouse Convention Center at the Statehouse Convention Center. I love crafts shows because people come from all around to display and sell their unique gifts. It gives you a change to purchase articles which you may never even see in any store.

There will be 100 artists and craftsmen during this weekend of craft sales. The hours are Friday, 10am-8pm, Saturday, 10am-8pm, and Sunday, 10am-4pm. The admission price is $5/day or $8.00 for the whole weekend. I would certainly go on and buy a weekend ticket in case I couldn’t get around to seeing all the booths and available crafts in one day. Seniors get an extra dollar off both admission prices. More information on the main web site, www.holidaysinlittlerock.com

Dec. 3, 2006
City of Little Rock’s Big Jingle Jubilee Holiday Parade
3:30 PM
Downtown Little Rock
For those who love outdoor festivities and big, showy displays in the public arena, this parade cannot be missed. It really kicks off the holiday season with spectacular beauty and excitement. The parade begins On Saturday, Dec. 3 near the River and ends at the Arkansas State Capitol with the annual lighting ceremony!
For general parade information, the parade route, rules and regulations, and to register online, click on the parade icon on www.holidaysinlittlerock.com.

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Participants will be in floats, bands, and all sorts of holiday entries. These should be very good since all entrants are vying for a first place prize of $1,000-lots of incentive to put on the best show ever!

The route starts at 2nd Street and Broadway and goes south on Broadway. It turns onto Capitol Avenue and runs right up to the Capitol building, where “the office of the Secretary of State will host an official lighting ceremony and fireworks show at approximately 6:00 p.m.” Come dressed with warm clothes and maybe some blankets for the little ones.

Most cities have some sort of fireworks or tree lighting or a spectacular to kick off the season with aplomb and this is how Little Rock is welcoming in this one. These kinds of celebrations are always a great way to get into the festive season’s spirit and I try never to miss the one in my city.

On Dec. 4th there is the 38th Annual Christmas Frolic and Open House
1 PM – 4 PM at the Historic Arkansas Museum. Call 501-324-9304. And there’s also a Holiday Open House at the Old State House Museum at 1pm-4:30pm, so you might want to hit both of these events that day. Call 501-324-9685 for more info on the Open House.

Dec. 8 will give everyone a breather from the hectic holiday shopping maddness. It will be a special pleasure for the real traditionalists and the music lovers among you. Entitled, ” How Far Is It To Bethlehem.” This concert is based on the birth of the Christ child in Bethlehem but it branches out to the spirit of the Christmas season everywhere. It will feature the beautiful In terra pax (On Earth Peace) by the English composer Gerald Finzi and concludes with the Nigerian carol Betelehemu.
The times given on their web site are as follows: Friday, December 8, 2006 7:30 PM, First Presbyterian Church, 800 Scott Street, Little Rock and Saturday, December 9, 2006 7:30 PM at Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church, 4823 Woodlawn Avenue, Little Rock. For more information and a link to get a membership, visit http://www.ar-chambersingers.org/

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December 10
The Gingerbread Extravaganza is going to put on a gingerbread house decorating contest and more at the Arkansas State Capitol rotunda beginning at10 AM and running up to 5 PM. It should be lots of special fun for the children and those adults who love venues to let out the child inside you! Call 501-372-5039 for further information about the event. You can also consult the main web site I gave above for other details: www.holidaysinlittlerock.com

On Dec. 16 and 17, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra presents “Yuletide Spectacular!”
Robinson Center Music Hall. Call for more detailed information and on how to purchase tickets: 501-666-1761, or access more information online at http://arkansassymphony.org/calendar/default.asp?strMonth=12_2006. Then, Dec. 18 will be a night of pure lively fun for the holidays when the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra presents “Jingle Bell Little Rock” at the Robinson Center Music Hall. Consult the Symphony web site above or call
501-666-1761 for pricing and ticket information.

The Symphony is also playing this year once again in the presentation of “The Nutcracker” for those of you who would not go through a Christmas without seeing this wonderful, spirited ballet.

The Little Rock Zoo is having a winter special from now until January 15. Every paying adult can bring in 4 free kids (ages 1-12). What a wonderful gift you can give some kids you know whose parents may not have the time or the money to take their children. It’s a way to give a Christmas gift to some lucky children who would love a day of wonder viewing the animals. They are giving away a warm cup of hot cocoa or hot cider at the café to all ticket holders to get you off to a toasty start!. You can also get some last minute shopping down because everything in their Zoofari Trader Gift Shop is 15% off. So you can save on tickets, get some exercise, have fun and save a bit more on your holiday gifts as well.

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One writer has advised that winter is a good time to view zoo animals since most of them are often to hot do more than lie around or even go “inside” in the heat of the summer and early fall. Many of them become a lot more fun to watch this time of year since they become more playful and energetic when the weather turns colder.

These are just some of the wonderful events you can enjoy in the foothills of the Ouachita Mts. in central Arkansas this season. Little Rock is a city which respects and cultivates the solid values of the middle American land and its people. In many ways it is a cosmopolitan city but there is also still a flavor of the small town here which certainly lends this area a lot of its charm. I believe you will have a wonderful holiday season by participating in many of the events I have highlighted or by just going back to the main website, www.holidaysinlittlerock.com and looking for some others. Happy Holiday