Fayetteville's "Lighting of the Ozarks"
One of my family's favorite events every year is the Lighting of the Ozarks.
Each year, my two smalls, ask over and over until we succumb. Currently 6 and 4, they are enamored with the lights. I am not so enamored with the cold. So many nights, we drive by, warm in our car. However, this just keeps them happy for so long. Eventually, we have to make the 'walk' around the square. Every year, I attempt to plan it just so: a warmer than usual night (above 60 degrees).
Most years, I do not succeed.
The cold does not bother my husband. He gleefully looks forward to this night every year, all the while my cold natured self is already hunched over in the car, knowing that I am so cold----I can never possibly be warm again once we exit the vehicle.
Every year, I grudgingly go.
Every year, when I step out of the car and start the trek, I find myself enjoying it. Loving it. Feeling the magic that the kiddos inherently understand. It's the getting there that is the problem. Their exclamations, pitched approximately at 10,000 decibels, finally woo me to exit the vehicle. I scoop one of them up to feel their warmth (self preservation no doubt), and their whole body is tensed with excitement! Ignoring their pitch perfect screams and shrieks while my ear drums burst, I look ahead at the lights.
They make a run for the camel. Every. Year. The camel is pretty impressive, especially when you are standing next to it. Husband allows the camel ride (super overprotective father in the house), but he seems to not be breathing as they are jostling around on it.
400,000 sparkly twinkly lights will render you speechless. Every. Year. The square is quiet except for the other excited children. And the camel. It kind of roar/bellows. And the rhythmic clip clapping of the horse drawn carriages. Then the smell hits you. Tim's Pizza. Then a coffee stand. Did I mention it is perfection? Craft beer? Pizza? Carriage rides? Twinkly lights?
Sucks you completely in. Take your family. Take them now. YOU will not be cold/afraid like me. YOU will be brave and suck it up. You will ride the fairy princess carriage like we do. Mesmerized you will be by this glittering chariot driven by an impossibly huge horse. You too will wave at the bystanders as you pass in the carriage. It is magical. Every. Year. A huge billowy mass of twinkly canopy over head and underfoot, paths and rows of twinkly fairy lights every where you can imagine.
Fayetteville is magical.
Rene Guin is a Realtor in NWA, that's Northwest Arkansas to all who don't know it as such.