The countdown begins: Northern Lights Festival

There will be plenty to do in North Little Rock over Thanksgiving weekend, and the highlight will be the free, family-friendly Northern Lights Festival on Saturday, November 30, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Hosted by the City of North Little Rock, North Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau, North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce, Argenta Downtown Council and Argenta Community Theater, the Northern Lights Festival will be a great way to start the holidays and will mark the grand opening of the new Argenta Plaza at 510 Main Street in downtown North Little Rock.

“Families and friends are going to have plenty of options for spending time together over Thanksgiving weekend in North Little Rock,” said Stephanie Slagle, Marketing Director for the North Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Shop Black Friday deals in the McCain shopping district, celebrate the holiday season with Northern Lights Festival Saturday and our annual Christmas parade is Sunday. There’ll be no better place in Arkansas to kick off the holiday season than North Little Rock.”

Northern Lights Festival will be free and open to the public, with food and beverages available for purchase. The general schedule is as follows:

  • 5:30 p.m. – Grand Opening Ceremony of Argenta Plaza
  • 6:30 p.m. – Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony with North Little Rock Mayor Smith
  • 7:00 p.m. – Big Dam Horns Concert
  • 9:00 p.m. – Fireworks Show

During the festival, there will be horse carriage rides, live reindeer, holiday market, food trucks, libations, kids’ zone with Santa and Mrs. Claus; holiday stories on the streetcar, and actors from Argenta Community Theater’s A Christmas Carol in period costume. Highlights of the evening will be the lighting of North Little Rock’s new tree – one of the tallest in the state at 38 feet tall with a four-foot star – followed by a concert with the Big Dam Horns and finishing with a firework show.

The festival will be the first major event to be held in Argenta Plaza, a $5.36-million community space owned by the City of North Little Rock and managed by the North Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau. The plaza features a “front porch” area with modern swings; a stage with 40-foot video projection wall; a water wall; fountains and a “backyard” area with trees. Except for the backyard area, where the new First Orion headquarters is being completed, all will be open for the November 30 event.

“Argenta Plaza belongs to everyone in North Little Rock,” said North Little Rock Mayor Joe Smith. “Our Northern Lights Festival is a perfect opportunity for all neighborhoods to come together and celebrate the holiday season as one community.”

North Little Rock tourism staff preparing for debut of downtown plaza – Arkansas Democrat-Gazette