The annual De Queen Christmas Parade this year will be replaced by a Tour of Lights event at Herman Dierks Park, due to covid-19. 

A cherished local Christmas tradition will come with a fresh new twist this year as The De Queen/Sevier County Chamber of Commerce has announced the community’s first “Tour of Lights” event set for Saturday, Dec. 5 at Herman Dierks Park.

The change in format has been planned in response to the covid-19 pandemic and will provide a safe, in-person holiday celebration for the community without putting local residents at risk of exposure.

Serving as a “reverse-style” version of the chamber’s annual Christmas parade, community members can view the tour of lights, see creative holiday scenes and enjoy the Christmas spirit by following a route beginning at Farm Bureau Insurance, 406 E. Colin Ray Drive, driving through the park and then exiting right on Lakeside Drive.

All area churches, businesses, civic organizations and community groups are welcome to participate by setting up a stationary “float”, trailer, staged Christmas scene, parked vehicle, or festive setting of their choosing. Set up begins at 12 p.m. on Dec. 5 and the tour will kick off at 6 p.m. sharp with the conclusion scheduled for no later than 8 p.m.

Categories for participants include religious, commercial, antique vehicle and people’s choice. 

Prize money will be awarded in the amount of $100 for 1st place, $75 for 2nd place and $50 for 3rd.

All tour of lights displays will be required to remain stationary for the duration of the event and to maintain a safe flow of traffic. The chamber asks that no candy or items be thrown to cars en route. 

Christmas music will be provided courtesy of ED 88 radio station and attendees can tune in to 88.7 FM to hear sounds of the holiday season while traveling through the tour of lights. 

The deadline to sign up for a display is Tuesday, Dec. 1 and participating groups can register by phone, email or google document: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1d_ZjXHFnIO17sngO_r0oWYPM-tgI8iou4IgvVvcqtwA/edit 

Local residents of De Queen and the surrounding areas are encouraged to attend the first tour of lights in De Queen and the Chamber of Commerce can be contacted by emailing DQchamber@gmail.com or calling 870-584-3225.

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