Although there will not be a public lighting ceremony this year to kick off Searcy’s Holiday of Lights, Searcy Parks and Recreation Director Mike Parsons said the lights “will be cut on” Tuesday during a live stream on the department’s Facebook page.
Parsons said the city doesn’t have an exact time yet, only that the lights will be turned on when it gets dark.
“We have a Holiday of Lights Facebook and Instagram page, where everything will stay updated,” Parsons said.
He said the synthetic ice skating rink at Spring Park will be opened up the night after Thanksgiving, from 5-10 p.m. The charge is $5 and skates will be available.
“We are going to sanitize everything, scan people in [take temperatures], make sure all of our employees are taking precautions,” Parsons said. “Skates and everything will be sanitized daily.”
Parsons said guests will be screened with the usual questions that are asked relating to COVID-19 guidelines.
“Thanks to the A&P [Advertising and Tourism Promotion Commission] this year we have purchased more lights. The same style of lights Harding [University] has that hang down from the trees, we have some very similar to those over at Spring Park,” he said. “We got up to $25,000 and that includes lights, contract labor, security for the parks. It covers repairs to the skating rink, replacement of lights ... it just covers everything.”
At Spring Park, he said visitors can come to the east side of the park, next to the skating rink and look up for lights in the trees by the nature trail. “That’s where we will have the cascading lights hanging down,” Parsons said.
Parsons said those new to Holiday of Lights should start at Spring Park and go down Spring Street all the way through downtown. “It’s all decorated and lit up and then go down to the courthouse square and end up at Berryhill Park where you can get out into the park and take pictures with the displays.”
Family groups are being asked to stay 6 feet apart from other groups.
“If we see big groups clustered together, we are going to disperse them a little bit, but we’re not going to be the 6-foot distance police,” he said.
Parsons said people have come to really enjoy Searcy’s Holiday of Lights, which is listed on the Arkansas Holiday Trail of Lights.
And in two weeks, Parsons said, his department will be starting Christmas Movies In The Park. He said more information on which ones they will have will be announced soon.
The Holiday of Light’s last full day will be Jan. 2. The city’s annual Christmas parade has been canceled.