Mountain Harbor Resort on Lake Ouachita Invites You to Harbor for the Holidays!
It's Harbor for the Holidays at Mountain Harbor Resort on Lake Ouachita!
The day after Thanksgiving every year, Harbor hosts a huge Christmas lighting event with holiday treats, live music, fun activities including hay rides and a visit from Santa!
A Beautiful Holiday Weekend on Wilderness Lake Ouachita!
Every year Mountain Harbor Resort and Spa, located 12 miles east of Mount Ida, on the shores of Lake Ouachita, hosts a three day long holiday weekend including a lavish Thanksgiving Day Dinner, a fun filled Christmas lighting ceremony to celebrate the start of the Christmas Holiday season and a nostalgic "Ol’ Timey" Fire Department Spaghetti Dinner and Holiday Auction for the Joplin Volunteer Fire Department.
Harbor’s staffs begin the decorating in late September, stringing miles of twinkling lights through the trees and around all the buildings and cottages at the resort. The Lodge is dressed up for the holidays with pumpkins, candles, hay bales and rustic ambiance. The chef and his staff are busy gathering and perfecting old and new recipes for the extravagant Thanksgiving spread. The buffet will include golden turkeys, both smoked and baked; succulent hams; a lavish salad bar with seasonal salads and homemade soup; a mountain of freshly baked breads; a fresh fruit and cheese display and all of the highly anticipated, traditional holiday vegetable sides and time honored casseroles. The crowning glory for kids, big and small, is the decadent dessert display with a variety of homemade cakes, pies and treats. The buffet dinner is always sold out and is based on reservations only, so guests are encouraged to call early to reserve their table at one of three seatings.
The Lodge is festively dressed for the holidays.
Crisp linens in holiday colors, gleaming candles, captivating lake view, cozy fireplace and a warm, happy welcome greet guests to the Thanksgiving Dinner.
The day after Thanksgiving, the resort is transformed right before your eyes from Thanksgiving to Christmas! Dozens of staff rush to complete the task of getting everything ready to welcome Santa Clause that evening!
The Christmas Lighting 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 last year was estimated at over 1200 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 Saylor 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 are Mrs. Clause and the Big Guy himself. Mrs. Clause reads Christmas stories and poses for photos with the children in the beautifully decorated Santa Tent until Santa Clause arrives via the hay ride wagons. After a countdown by the crowd, the big switch is flipped and all the lights of Harbor are turned on. Santa visits with kids, big and small, for over two hours until everyone has 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.
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.
The Saturday night of the weekend, the resort community turns out for a hearty spaghetti dinner and live holiday auction. The biggest fundraiser of the year for the local Joplin Volunteer Fire Department, the event is held in the fire station. Families gather for hot plates of piled high spaghetti and try to wrangle their favorite sauces from the wide array of steaming crockpots – Venison, Spicy Meatball, Italian Meatball, Sausage and Mushroom – all lovingly crafted from the kitchens of the area’s best cooks and brought to the fire station to raise money for the all-volunteer department. Community members and businesses donate auction items ranging from a sailboat cruise, carriage rides, homemade cakes, cookies and pies; hand crafted wearables; boats; electronics – even airline tickets and New York City hotel rooms have been donated before by grateful community members! The proceeds of the auction all benefit the fire department which operates both land and water fleets.
You can learn more about Mountain Harbor Resort and the Holidays at Harbor at www.mountainharborresort.com or www.facebook.com/MountainHarborResort.