The 2023 Lights of the Ozarks festival kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 17 with the annual lighting ceremony and parade on the downtown square.
To start the event, Mayor Lioneld Jordan will “flip the switch” to activate the light display in front of the Fayetteville Town Center, which will signal the start of the parade.
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the event Marilyn Heifner, former mayor of Fayetteville and former executive director of the Fayetteville Advertising and Promotion Commission, will serve as grand marshal of the parade. Heifner launched Lights of the Ozarks in 1993.
Each year, Fayetteville Parks and Recreation crews spend more than 3,300 hours decorating the square with more than 500,000 holiday lights. The square is lit every evening from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. through Dec. 31, and includes nightly holiday activities, hot chocolate and festive music.
In addition to festivities on the square, four winter markets will take place at the Fayetteville Town Center during Lights of the Ozarks:
- Nov. 18 – Fruitcake, a kid-free holiday market
- Dec. 1 – Mitzvah Holiday Art Market, with art from more than 50 local artists
- Dec. 2 – Little Craft Show, featuring handmade arts and crafts
- Dec. 15 – FayetteVINTAGE Market, with dozens of vintage vendors
The event is produced by Experience Fayetteville, but local sponsorship opportunities are available. To learn more, or to participate in the parade, visit experiencefayetteville.com.