By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
Whether its been a “Super Saturday” or “Super Thursday” in recent years, the Hope community has periodically found itself seeing multiple major events happening at the same time, the same day, across downtown Hope and a combination of other places in the city.
Tonight, brings such another occasion, where Hope citizens will have the annual Christmas Open House in downtown Hope sponsored by the Hope/Hempstead Chamber of Commerce, a Holiday Bazaar, also in downtown Hope, hosted by the Southwest Arkansas Arts Council, and the 69th Annual Lions Christmas kicking off a three-night run at Hope’s Fair Park Coliseum.
The Southwest Arkansas Arkansas Council’s entry on Thursday, the First Annual Holiday Bazaar, actually gets things started off first today, scheduled for a 10 a.m. start and running until 7 p.m. The Bazaar will feature more than 20 artisans with their handcrafted and hard-to-find artifacts on sale Thursday and running through Saturday, Dec. 1, according to SWAAC director George Smith.
The Bazaar will be held at the Arts Station at 200 East Division Street in downtown Hope behind Tailgaters and adjacent to the Amtrak Depot, he said.
“On display will be wood-crafted items (children’s toys to pen sets to urns, bowls and vases), hand-loomed hot pads in myriad color schemes, fire-etched walking canes, original artwork, Ukrainian-style painted ornament (eggs), jewelry, bottles from the defunct Hope Bottling Company, paint yard pallets, plus many other items,” Smith said.
CHAMBER OPEN HOUSE
Themed out this year as “Just an Old-Fashioned Christmas,” the Hope/Hempstead Chamber of Commerce along with dozens of downtown merchants will again bring the streets of downtown Hope alive after-hours from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Featuring the lineup of familiar places and faces in downtown, festivities will include in-store refreshments, prizes, shopping & dining, carriage rides, and caroling.
Also set for a three-day run starting tonight at 6 p.m., members of the Hope Lions Club under the leadership of Linda Clark were busy Wednesday night, transforming the stage inside Hope’s Fair Park Coliseum into a giant auction hall and feeding center for 300 or more. Over the past four years, items to be auctioned have also included big items like a Yeti cooler, a clothes dryer, a custom smoker and home furnishings as well as a wide array of household items, toys, and other items donated by local and area businesses.
Kicking off 69th edition of auction, the affair will also extend into Friday and Saturday until all items are sold. The auction has a long standing tradition for the Hope Lions Club as their largest fundraiser of the year.
Along with hundreds of visible items piled on the coliseum stage, setups on Wednesday night also included the Lions dinner buffet tables, also a tradition, where attendees can enjoy dinner with a wide variety of food and homemade dessert choices. Along with the locally popular Chicken-and-Dumplings, a traditional sell-out dish, auction eaters will see hamburgers, hot dogs, soups, chili, and chili dogs, along with a variety of homemade dessert choices.
The team of Southwest Arkansas Today will have both live stream coverage of the Lions Auction, which you can watch live HERE as well as hosting a separate Christmas Open House exhibit in Hope’s downtown showing off our website on Thursday. SWARK Today will also present live stream coverage of the annual Hope Christmas Parade in downtown Hope on Monday, Dec. 3 starting at 6 p.m.
For Prescott High School football fans, SWARK Today will also have a team following the Curley Wolves to the state football semifinals on Friday night in Booneville, where the Curley Wolves and Bearcats will play for the right to play in the state championship next week in Little Rock.