Every year Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa, located 12 miles east of Mount Ida, on the shores of Lake Ouachita, hosts a holiday lighting ceremony to celebrate the start of the Christmas Holiday season. The event is always held the Friday night after Thanksgiving and is open, free of charge, to Mountain Harbor guests and the public.
“Sharing the lights with our customers, friends and neighbors is our way of giving enjoyment and sharing fellowship with our community”, stated Bill Barnes. “There’s just something very, very special about the Christmas lights over the lake, and the joy we see in each child’s eyes reminds us of how very special this time of year is”. The crowd at Harbor this year was estimated at over 800 guests who crowded in to enjoy fresh, homemade holiday cookies from the Lodge Restaurant, hot apple cider and cocoa and listen to the wonderful holiday live music. On stage, Randy and Chana Caylor sang holiday favorites to the crowd’s enjoyment while the kids received Christmas tattoos or face painting by Harbor’s Christmas elves.
Of course, the big stars of the night were Mrs. Clause and the Big Guy himself. Mrs. Clause read Christmas stories and posed for photos with the children until Santa Clause arrived via the hay ride wagons. After a countdown by the crowd, the big switch was flipped and all the lights of Harbor were turned on. Santa visited with kids, big and small, for over two hours until everyone had an opportunity to express their Christmas wishes. Throughout the evening, guests were treated to hayrides through the resort to admire the Christmas lights over the lake.
“Our crew starts working in September hanging Christmas lights, and we estimate that over two million lights have been hung this year at Harbor” stated Chuck Mayberry, Facilities Management Manager.
The Lodge and cottages, Harbor’s Marina, all of the main buildings and even the trees on the drive to Harbor were alight and the resort is brightly decorated for Christmas visitor and the many Christmas parties planned for the season.