It’s that time of year when downtown Mena transforms into a place of wonder and magic for children and adults alike with our Annual Mena Christmas Parade of Lights. Come join the fun as The Mena Polk County Chamber of Commerce kicks off the holiday season with the “North Pole Christmas” themed parade.
The magical and lively parade will make its way down Mena Street on Saturday, December 7th at 6 p.m., continuing on to Oak Avenue, DeQueen Street, Hwy 71 South and 7th Avenue, ending at Historic Janssen Park. You’ll see hundreds of smiling faces along the spectacular one-mile parade route as they delight in the sights and sounds of the season. Christmas themed entries will include illuminated and brightly decorated floats, marching bands, equestrian units, and non-profit groups. This is Mena’s biggest and brightest parade, making it a holiday favorite you won’t want to miss.
Pete Chambers, 2018 Volunteer of the Year, will be proudly leading the parade as our esteemed Grand Marshall. Pete won’t be the only star of the show because Santa Claus is coming to town! Santa has marked his calendar to make a special appearance in Mena, Arkansas. For kids young and old, visions of jolly Ol’St.Nick mark the true beginning of the season and provide a fitting close to the night’s parade.
There will be a contest for the floats and entries with the best interpretation of the theme: “North Pole Christmas.” Parade attendees can cast their votes on the Mena/Polk County Chamber of Commerce Facebook page the night of the parade. Announcements of winners will be made at the Christmas Festival in Janssen Park following the parade. Candy and other goodies will be tossed to onlookers in this family-friendly holiday event.
Be sure to follow Santa and the parade to Janssen Park for the Christmas Festival and Concert complete with Fireworks Show, and then close the evening with the official lighting of Janssen Park.
The Merriment of Mena Christmas Lights and Display Contest will also continue this year. Local businesses across Mena are encouraged to make it the brightest and most beautiful Christmas ever by going all in on their Christmas decorating. Two winners will be chosen and there is no entry fee. Simply fill out a registration form and have your display completed by November 29th to be considered for judging. Forms are available through the Chamber of Commerce online or at their office. Your participation is paramount in making Mena a destination for viewing Christmas lights.
Parade line up begins at 5:30p.m. They will be gathering and staging the parade behind the Old Middle School building directly across from the Courthouse. Please utilize the parking lot next to The Crossing church as well as the field and parking lot behind the school building. In addition, floats are encouraged to park on 9th Street and Port Arthur after the conclusion of the parade so the crowds can get a closer look at the hard work that goes into each one. Anyone wishing to participate in the parade MUST turn in a completed registration form to the Chamber office no later than Thursday, December 5th. Forms can be found at menapolkchamber.com, at the chamber office, or call 479-394-2912 for additional details.
*** REVISION on parade route: The parade will assemble behind the Old Middle School Building on Church Street. Go down Mena Street to Gillham Street – Turn right on Gillham Street – Go to Dequeen Street – Turn right on Dequeen Street – Follow Dequeen to Hwy 71 – Cross Hwy 71 and go up 7th Street.
At this point, some floats may choose to park on Port Arthur or 7th Street around Janssen Park, others may choose to continue on to Church Street, then cross Mena Street to disband at the Old Middle School Building.