Breaking News
More () »

City of Van Buren continues Hodo Christmas lights tradition with two displays at parks

After more than two decades Mr. Hodo retired from his annual Christmas lights display, but he gave the City of Van Buren his lights which are now on display.

VAN BUREN, Ark. — The Christmas lights display at the Hodo’s house was a tradition that ended in 2019, but Mr. Hodo wanted to make sure his lights continued to bring Christmas joy. That's why he donated them to the City of Van Buren where they are now on display. 

“The pandemic has upended everyone’s lives and we are ready to celebrate, so this has been something that has generated a lot of excitement in the community. And just judging by the first couple days that we’ve had it, a lot of people are excited,” said Van Buren Mayor Joe Hurst. 

The lights can be seen at Freedom Park in downtown along with a massive Christmas tree and at City Park where you can drive-thru the display. 

Hurst says generous community donations made it possible to add even more lights to Mr. Hodo’s original display. 

“My hope is that every year we can add and continue to make it bigger and better and more special," the mayor said. "It’s just great to be able to put a smile on people’s faces and we all need that. So, we are ready to celebrate as a community."

There is a 60-foot drive-thru light tunnel with a little more than 14,000 lights on it that coordinate to Christmas music. There is even a light show called lights on the lake. 

Raymond Harvey put up the display at the Hodo’s house and is continuing to do the same now that the lights belong to the city. He says the city’s parks and streets department put in a lot of hours to make this a magical experience.  

“We’re excited, especially with the year we’re in, a great way to give back to our community and spread joy and have a good reason to get out of the house and try and enjoy some family fellowship,” Harvey said. 

At the City Park drive-thru display, they ask you to enter off 20th Street because it’s only one way. The City Park display will run all of the listed dates from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Nov. 21-29, Dec. 4-6, 11-13 and Dec. 18- Jan. 2. 

RELATED: Watch: Creekmore Park Holiday Lights Switched On for 2020 Season

RELATED: Walmart to bring Christmas cheer to Northwest Arkansas with Holiday Drone Light Show

Before You Leave, Check This Out