Oakhaven continues tradition of lighting up for Christmas

Community joins Arkansas Trail of Lights for 2018

Rick Kennedy, managing editor
For past few years, Oakhaven has literally lit itself up with Christmas lights, and for 2018, comes a new twist as the small community is part of the Arkansas Trail of Lights, according to its mayor, Troy Lerew.
Lerew, who is also an incoming Justice of the Peace and treasurer of the Hempstead County GOP, said “This year, we will have the Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on Saturday, November 24 at 6 p.m. We will also have our luminaries on Saturday, December 1 and Saturday, December 8 from dusk until 9 p.m.”
Per the tradition, Lerew said homes in the Oakhaven community will be decorated and lit up with various festive displays from November 24 on through the rest of 2018.
Lerew said he believes that the Oakhaven Christmas lights could be one of the largest such light displays in the region.
Les Patterson, known in the residential area the past few years as a “Mr. Christmas,” is widely credited with revival of the tradition after it was discontinued some time in the late 1990s.
Patterson was known to have first started with his own home, and then, he expanded his efforts to include over a dozen.
“They use to decorate years ago when I first moved to Oakhaven in 1996, but quit shortly after,” Patterson once said publicly about reviving the tradition.
Sitting roughly 5.8 miles northwest of downtown Hope, the Oakhaven community is primarily a residential area with 63 citizens, according to the US Census. According to the “Encyclopedia of Arkansas Culture,” the town was incorporated on October 4, 1947, and reported a population of 81 in the 1950 census.

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