Lights of the Ozarks ceremony goes virtual

State News

The parade has been canceled

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.- Experience Fayetteville has decided to cancel the Lights of the Ozarks parade previously scheduled to be held Friday, November 20.

Event officials say the cancellation is to prioritize the safety of the community.

In a news release sent Wednesday, officials say the long-standing tradition of holiday lighting throughout the Historic Downtown Square will still take place. Staff with the City of Fayetteville Parks and Recreation will hang the lights.

Experience Fayetteville officials say they are preparing ways to offer socially-distant programming, including a virtual lighting ceremony.

According to the news release, part of the socially-distant programming will include reducing the number of food and drink vendors throughout the 2020 season. The application form for food and drink vendors will be available at www.experiencefayetteville.com on September 22.

Carriage rides, pony rides and pictures with Santa will not take place this year, official say. Letters to Santa are still encouraged and can be dropped off in the Santa mailbox in front of the Experience Fayetteville Vistors Center.

“This was not an easy decision to make,” Experience Fayetteville CEO Molly Rawn said. “Our primary concern is always public health and safety, and we have to do what’s best for our community. I’m encouraged by the work our team is doing to make this a cheerful and safe event moving forward.”

According to the news release, Fayetteville Parks and Recreation spends more than 3,300 hours decorating the Historic Downtown Square with holiday lights. The display consists of more than 400,000 lights and can be enjoyed nightly through December 31.

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