The above map shows the route of this year’s Christmas in the Hills Journey of Lights Parade, which will begin at the State Home then go south to University Avenue, and then east until ending at the stop light downtown.
HOT SPRINGS – Christmas in the Hills recently announced the theme of their 2023 festivities as “Christmas Express,” which will take place Friday and Saturday, Dec. 1-2.
A full weekend of events will take place; however due to the highway reconstruction schedule in downtown Hot Springs, the organizers have had to make adjustments to the parade route and entertainment venue for the Friday night program.
Instead of the usual location for the kickoff event at The Evans, this year it will take place in the American Legion event room, but be advised, the Jennings bridge in front of the Legion may also be closed. If so, access to the location can be gained via Garden Street.
The Sandstone Singers will perform starting at 4:30 pm. Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive during the program and will be available for pictures afterwards.
Mayor Bob Nelson will kick off the start of the Christmas Season by reading the Christmas Proclamation, the tree inside the American Legion room will be lit. Floyd & Connie Gorsuch will entertain with additional Christmas songs while Santa and Mrs. Claus take pictures with the children.
The Parade of Lights will begin at the State Veterans Home at 6 p.m. and travel along 23rd Street to University Ave (see map). Attendees at the American Legion will have the choice of walking from the Legion to University and observing the parade or leave in their cars to find a place to observe.
There will be no announcing of the parade floats during the parade. Float winners will be announced at the Soup Supper, hosted by the United Churches Mission Group in the United Churches Fellowship Hall, immediately following the parade for all parade participants. Donations are requested from all non-parade participants to support this cause.
Activities for Saturday, Dec. 2 will begin at the Mueller Center with Christmas In The Hills hosting The Marketplace. Vendors will be displaying and selling their crafts, food items, etc. along with several food booths.
The Minnekahta Quilt Guild will also be hosting their annual Quilt Show. Gift wrapping will be available for shoppers along with carriage rides (weather permitting) and pictures with Santa.
Manger Melodies, the Saturday evening concert with Brian Powers as emcee, at the Mueller Center Theatre, will feature Paul Larson, The Singing Cowboy and Friends along with a group from the Legends of Dakota Country Music Hall of Fame. In addition, a living nativity will be presented by The Good News Club youth. Intermission refreshments will be provided by the Hot Springs Youth Baseball Team. A great evening to enjoy the wonderful songs and music of the Christmas Season. This concert will be free as in the past, thanks to our generous sponsors.
Look for more information and events to be announced in the coming weeks.