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Holiday of Lights Returns to Searcy


After a five year hiatus, Searcy Holiday of Lights will be fully revived on Tuesday, November 24th with ceremonial lightings at Berryhill Park and Downtown Searcy.

The Searcy Holiday of Lights has been a much loved part of the holiday season for decades. When funding was short several years ago, the city made a decision to pull the light display from Berryhill Park.

Julie and Richie Berryhill Park

Berryhill Park 2002

My husband of 15 years and I began dating in December 1999. We frequented the light display at Berryhill Park in the early days of our new relationship. We spent many winter nights during the first years of our marriage strolling through the display and taking horse drawn carriage rides through the lighted wonderland. The year the lights went out in the park, an important part of our annual holiday tradition was darkened.

Thanks in part to funding raised through a 1% sales tax and generous donors, setup is underway and Berryhill Park will soon be lit with thousands of lights once again.

According to the Searcy Regional Economic Development Corporation (SREDC) board chair Stuart Dalrymple, “Hundreds of local businesses, organizations and individuals have already spent thousands of volunteer hours and dollars working toward getting the lights up and going this year. Everyone is really starting to feel the magnitude of what this year will be and the number of visitors it will bring to Searcy, and we are all excited to share the spirit of Christmas with the entire state.”

Searcy Holiday of Lights Christmas Tree

The community has been extremely generous in helping to fund this project which will also include increased police presence in Berryhill Park and other lighted areas throughout the holiday season to ensure the safety of the community. A full list of sponsors can be viewed on the events Facebook page.

Searcy Holiday of Lights

The first lighting ceremony will take place at Berryhill Park at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, November 24, with the second lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. in historic Downtown Searcy at the White County Courthouse Square.


Events surrounding the ceremonies include performances by the Searcy High School Band at Berryhill Park, as well as appearances by the First United Methodist Church handbell choir, and Trinity Baptist Church choir around the Courthouse Square. Also, local dignitaries include Searcy Mayor David Morris, White County Judge Michael Lincoln, and SREDC representatives Dr. David Burks and Stuart Dalrymple. Other special guests include former Gov. Mike and Mrs. Ginger Beebe, who will lead the countdown to the lighting at Berryhill Park, as well as KATV, Ch. 7, Meteorologist Ned Perme, who will light the Courthouse Square.

Downtown festivities at the lighting ceremony also include free hot chocolate & s’mores, carriage rides, food, coupons and shopping. The Searcy Junior Auxiliary will be available to adopt a child from the Angel Tree for Christmas. Holiday of Lights souvenir mugs will be for sale for $10 each and can be refilled for free on weekends during the Christmas season at Berryhill Park. The free hot chocolate schedule can be found here.

131214 Christmas Parade (2)

Harding University Holiday of Lights

Searcy Holiday of Lights is a celebration of all the festivities, attractions, and shopping and dining destinations Searcy offers throughout the holiday season, including:

  • Harding Lighting Ceremony – November 30th at 6:00 pm, Harding Front Lawn
  • Living Nativity – (pictured below) December 4-6 & 11-13, First Assembly of God
  • A Christmas Story – December 4,5,11,12,18 & 19 at 7:30 pm or December 6,13 & 20 at 1:30 pm, at Center on the Square
  • Searcy Parks & Recreation Craft Fair – December 5th, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm at Carmichael Community Center
  • Pioneer Village Christmas Open House – December 5th, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at Pioneer Village. Read about last year’s event here.
  • Christmas Parade – December 5th at 6:00 pm from Spring Park to Berryhill Park
  • People, Places & Holidays Around The World – Artist Reception – December 6th through January, 2:00 – 4:00 pm at The Black House
  • Women For Harding Tour of Homes – December 6th, 1:00 to 5:00 pm.
  • The Miracle Worker – December 10 – 12th, 7:00 pm at Ulrey Performing Arts Center, Harding University
  • Christmas Ring & Sing Cantata: Organ Recital & Christmas Bells – December 11th, 7:00 pm at First United Methodist Church
  • Pied Pipers Christmas Show – Children’s Theatre – December 12th, 11:00 am at Ulrey Performing Arts Center, Harding University
  • Christmas Cantata The Ornament – December 18th at 7:00 pm and December 20th at 6:00 pm, Trinity Baptist Church

Searcy Holiday of Lights Living Nativity

My husband and I cannot wait to revisit Berryhill Park this holiday season and rekindle this part of our holiday tradition. We hope that you and your family find as much joy in the Searcy Holiday of Lights as we have!

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Julie Kohl works from home as a writer and virtual assistant while raising her young son. A former Yankee who was "converted" to the south by her husband, Julie has grasped on to rural life in a sleepy, blink-your-eyes-and-you'll-miss-it town in central Arkansas. Julie loves adventure. Not necessarily "scare-your-pants-off" adventure but the kind where you seek out new and exciting things. New foods, new places, new experiences. On her blog, Seek Adventures, Julie shares about the outdoor and travel adventures of her family as they camp and standup paddleboard across the South. You can also learn more about her writing on her site Seek Adventures Media.

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