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Hanging lights on the tree at the Splash Park ahead of Buena Vista’s Christmas Opening. Photo by Carly Winchell

The Town of Buena Vista (BV) set up the Christmas tree today in preparation for the annual BV Christmas Opening coming up on Saturday, December 2. The event brings together residents and small businesses in the community while celebrating the holiday.

Participants will get the chance to tour BV businesses while enjoying chocolate treats, take a polar plunge, purchase gifts at the Holiday Craft Fair or the Local Authors Fair, and enjoy the BV Parade of Lights before Santa reads “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and lights the BV Town Tree at the Splash Park.

After dark, community members can head to McPhelemy Park to tour the Mini-Blessings light show.

Check out the schedule of events for the day below:

Chocolate Walk

9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday, December 2 in downtown Buena Vista

Participants can tour local small businesses and gather Chocolate Walk Stamps on cards for the chance to win prizes. Cards must be turned in at the Buena Vista Heritage Museum by 4:00 p.m. to be eligible for prizes. Completed cards require stamps from twenty businesses and verification of two purchases.

Chocolate Walk cards will be available for advance purchase from November 29 through December 1 at Full Circle, the Village, or Midland Stop during their regular business hours.

On December 2, cards will be sold at the Holiday Craft Fair beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the Buena Vista Heritage Museum. Cards cost $3 for one or $5 for a pair. They must be purchased with cash.

There will be $300, $200, and $100 grand prizes for turned in cards.

Holiday Craft Fair

9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday, December 2 at the Buena Vista Heritage Museum (506 East Main Street)

Residents can buy unique gifts from local vendors while enjoying the Chili Cook Off and waiting for photos with Santa.

This year families will be assigned numbers for pictures with Santa and are encouraged to shop at the fair while waiting for their turn.

Photos With Santa

9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday, December 2 upstairs at the Heritage Museum

A $10 donation is suggested to support the Buena Vista Middle School (BVMS) Yearbook. This event is brought to the community by Amber Gaston of Full Circle Realty.

Local Author Fair

12:00 noon to 3:00 p.m. Saturday, December 2 at the Buena Vista Library (131 Linderman Avenue)

The public is invited to discover and celebrate local authors while participating in the annual Buena Vista Chocolate Walk. Participants will have the chance to meet published writers, purchase signed copies of books, and enter raffles for book bundles.

Ugly Sweater 1-Miler

4:00 p.m. Saturday, December 2 on East Main Street

This one mile race from One Love Endurance is family friendly. Runners should don their ugliest holiday sweater for a chance to win the award for best holiday attire.

The run is stroller and walker friendly. Dogs are not allowed on the course. Awards will be given to the top male and female finishers and for best holiday attire.

Those interested in participating should register online here and use the code HAPPYHOLIDAYS for a 20 percent discount. A portion of the proceeds will benefit Toys for Tykes, which is a program sponsored by the Student Council of Buena Vista High School.

Parade of Lights

5:15 p.m. Saturday, December 2 on East Main Street

The parade will travel west from the Community Center and end at the Splash Park. Staging begins at 4:00 p.m. in the dirt lot north of the dog parks. Participants can walk along floats to hand out toys or candy, but nothing should be thrown into the crowd or streets.

At the end of the parade, Santa will recite ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” at the Splash Park and then light the BV town tree.

Polar Plunge

1:00 p.m. Saturday, December 2 at the Surf Hotel

Participants will take an icy plunge into the Arkansas River to raise funds for the local Toys for Tykes program.

Christmas Chorale

7:00 p.m. Friday, December 1 and 3:00 p.m. Saturday, December 2 at the Buena Vista High School (BVHS)

The Collegiate Peaks Chorale will perform at BVHS. Admission is free with limited seating available. Donations will be accepted at the door.

Mini-Blessings Holiday Light Show

5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Friday, December 1 through Sunday, December 3 at McPhelemy Park

The public is invited to drive or stroll through the park to enjoy a variety of light displays. The light show is a fundraiser for the local nonprofit Mini-Blessings.

The charge is $10 per car or $3 per person to tour the various Christmas light displays. Volunteers will take donations at the entrance to the McPhelemy Park parking lot off the highway.

Mini-Blessings’ annual light show is one of their biggest fundraising events of the year. More information about the nonprofit is available at

A listing of these and other holiday events this weekend in the Buena Vista area is available at