The 2013 Lights of the Ozarks Kicks off in Fayetteville

The Lights of the Ozarks was kicked off by UA Legend Frank Broyles and Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan who flipped the switch for the official start of the holiday season.

Hundreds of people enjoyed the 400,000 light bulbs and festivities of the night.

“It puts the spirit of the holidays in the air, it’s really nice to see,” said Mark Barnett, from Farmington.

It takes six weeks to install all the lights, a total of 3,000 man hours.

“It’s nice that they will take the time to do this for the community and to put this much effort into the square, really brings it out, brings a lot of people out, something to see,” Barnett said.

The parade around the square expanded to include Block Street and Dickson Street. Hazel Hernandez, the special events coordinator with the Visitor’s Bureau, said it’s an economic driver.

“It’s also good for the businesses,” Hernandez said.  “A lot of them are staying open longer. We all know what a great fun place Dickson street is, so for us as a visitor’s bureau it’s great to be sending people to those businesses and those restaurants.”

The University of Arkansas Hospitality Events class organizes the parade each year. It included civic groups, businesses, Christmas characters and Santa. Even our 5NEWS Team participated with Daren Bob.

5NEWSParadeThere was also plenty of sweets for the little ones.

“I got candy, that was like the best part I got candy and I saw a lot of dogs, it was adorable,” said Sacnite Flores-Ramos, 11.

People braved the cold temperature in the 20s to view the lights. The bulbs are 100 percent LED. An LED bulb life is 50,000 hour, which is 148 years of Lights of the Ozarks life.

“It’s beautiful, it’s prettier than anything I’ve seen around the state,” said Ann Hocutt of Fayetteville.

The long-time tradition including the expansion cost $25,000.

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