Annual Christmas Market, Christmas tree lighting and Parade of Lights set for next Tuesday

The Festival of Lights is currently going strong in Regional Park and one week from today, the holiday spirit will come to downtown Ardmore. Tuesday, Nov. 27 will be a busy day at Central Park with the festivities scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. and run throughout the day until the Parade of Lights starts just after the tree lighting ceremony at approximately 6:15 p.m.

City of Ardmore Recreation Supervisor Tes Stewart said there will be merchants  set up the entire day in Central Park. There are currently 28 merchants signed up but there is still some space available to anyone interested in a space.

“We have a little bit of everything,” Stewart said. This includes items such as homemade jellies and baked goods, handcrafted jewelry, and even solar lights. “This year we have double what we had last year, so there are a lot of new people coming.”

Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation Alicia Henry said the food trucks will also be at the park all day.

“We really encourage everyone to come down to the food trucks for lunch,” Henry said. “We’ve got five food trucks coming, so there will be lots of really good food and something for everyone.”

The evening’s entertainment is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. Scheduled to perform are the cheerleaders and dancers from the HFV Wilson Community Center, the Dickson Show Choir, Trudy Reasoner, the band Solomon’s Porch, and Ken Bohannon.

At 5 p.m. horse carriage rides around the park and through the neighborhood will begin and they will run every 20 minutes through 7:30 p.m.

“There’s a big wagon that pulls 10 people and then a six-person carriage to go along with it,” Henry said. “We’re pre-selling those tickets for $5 per person unless they are children under 2 and can sit on your lap.” 

The light show will begin at approximately 6:15 p.m. with the tree lighting ceremony. Mayor Sheryl Ellis will read a proclamation then the lucky winner of the “Flip the Switch” prize from the Festival of Lights Auction will officially light the tree.

“Hopefully it will be down by the tree this year,” said Stewart. In years past that has not always been the case. “We have a little stage by the tree and we’re hoping to get them there for the lighting.”

Once the tree is lit, the annual Parade of Lights begins. Last year an estimated 10,000 people attended the parade, and everyone hopes this year’s parade will be even larger. 

Anyone interested in a merchant’s space for the Christmas Market can contact Tes Stewart at Ardmore Parks and Recreation at (580) 223-4844, and tickets for the carriage rides can be purchased at the City Park Dept. at Regional Park.