FORT SMITH -- The annual holiday light display at Creekmore Park begins Monday with over 50 individual displays and 80,000 individual lights brightening downtown.
Mayor George McGill will count down the lighting around 5:30 p.m., with the city directors handing out hot chocolate, popcorn and candy canes to attendees as they wait to ride the Creekmore Holiday Express train around all the displays.
Creekmore Park is at 3301 S. M St. in Fort Smith. The Creekmore Holiday Express runs Monday to Saturday through Dec. 17 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. The lights are on display through Jan. 7 and the park is open daily from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sara Deuster, deputy director for the city's Parks Department, said the event typically sees over 30,000 attendees each year and continues to grow.
"Our department takes pride in having the opportunity to install holiday displays throughout Creekmore and downtown Fort Smith," she said.
Deuster said throughout the three-week event, different community organizations have volunteered to provide different amenities at no cost, including hot chocolate, cider, caroling, goodie bags and crafts. She said while the event is free to the public, there is a donation box at the entrance to help purchase lights, build displays and maintain the train.
Creekmore Park has undergone renovations over the summer. Deuster noted the project isn't fully complete, but the sidewalk is open to people who prefer to walk around and see the lights instead of taking the train.