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Holiday events ramping up this weekend

Posted: December 12, 2013 - 9:56pm
LOG CABIN FILE PHOTO  Santa and Mrs. Claus ride a train in a past Conway Christmas parade.
LOG CABIN FILE PHOTO Santa and Mrs. Claus ride a train in a past Conway Christmas parade.

The Conway Christmas parade is Saturday downtown at 6 p.m.

The parade, hosted by the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Faulkner County, starts at Front and Deer streets and travels up Front Street to Mill Street.

Parade chair Deidra Porter said Thursday participants are still pouring in, and Santa, who will be riding a throne loaned by Kordsmeier Furniture, has reserved his usual spot at the parade’s end.

This year’s Grand Marshal is Esther McClellan, owner of U.S. Pizza in Conway with her husband, Hunter McClellan.

Porter said the McClellans, with their children, Cooper, Parker and Harper, have been a symbol for what the holidays are about.

“Conway Celebrity Waiter was formed three years ago with Esther leading an amazing group of volunteers working to put on the event, which is held in their restaurant, as well as the ‘celebrities’ who volunteer their time,” Porter said. “The event has many working together but would not be so successful without the dedication, hard work and heart put into it by the McClellans.”

Porter said in three years the event has raised more than $87,600 for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life of Faulkner County.

Esther McClellan and her two sons will ride in a Ford Mustang convertible from Smith Ford of Conway.

Porter said there are “surprises in this year’s parade” that will be revealed Saturday.

Just before the parade, stop at Simon Park from 3-5 p.m. to visit Santa and take a picture with him with your own cameras.

Porter said donations to the American Cancer Society will be appreciated but are not required.

Concessions will also be available before and during the parade for a small donation.

This year’s parade theme is “All I want for Christmas.”

Light-looking

The lights are on at Tony Circle in Catherine Place, where six families have gone all out under the influence of Tony Brighter, who in 2007 put up a Christmas display that was beyond the normal string of lights.

His display, which has spread to cover the cul-de-sac is a computerized lights show that corresponds with music broadcast over radio frequency.

The display now has more than 80,000 lights, according to Brighter.

On weekends, it is typical to see a line of cars waiting to drive through Tony Circle.

Onlookers get a candy cane and an opportunity to donate to the Brighter family charity of choice, Make a Child Smile.

Get to Catherine Place on the south side of Conway by way of South Salem or Nutter Chapel roads.

The display is on nightly from 5:30-11 p.m., and until 11:30 p.m. Saturdays if there’s traffic in the neighborhood.

On Dec. 21 from 6-9 p.m., Santa will be at the cul-de-sac ready for photos.

The Brighters have a big electricity bill every year, but Brighter has said the return to family tradition is worth the cost.

The show is free.

Mistletoe Madness

If you’re downtown for the parade, you might notice downtown merchants are staying open. Stores participating will be open until 9 p.m. Saturday for Christmas shoppers.

The madness starts with the Holiday Handmade Arcade at Rogers Plaza around the Conway Christmas tree, where local artists will offer handmade and locally sourced items to the public.

Live music and refreshments will be offered throughout the day.

The shopping is going to rev up at 6 p.m. as stores start offering holiday deals. This issue of the Log Cabin includes promotions and bargain advertisements from participating stores

(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by email at courtney.spradlin@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1236, or on Twitter @Courtneyism. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)

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