10 Things You Can Expect at the City of Bentonville's Lighting of the Square


It's impossible to imagine Christmas without holiday lights, and there's no better way to get into the spirit of the season than with the City of Bentonville's Lighting of the Square!

Here’s a list of what you can expect from the 2021 City of Bentonville’s Lighting of the Square  — in pictures, of course.

Big thanks to our event sponsor First National Bank of NWA!

1. The Lights.

Thirty-five miles of holiday lights, to be exact. 

While the lights come to life on November 20th, installing the holiday lights began back in early September.   

Each year, a crew of 24 employees from the City of Bentonville’s Parks & Recreation department work for weeks (3,100 hours!) to meticulously ensure each light is in place and ready for the big reveal at Lighting of the Square.  

In the middle of the Bentonville Square, a 22-foot animated Christmas tree will sync to holiday music each night until 11:00 pm from November 20th through January 1st.  

Insider tip:  Expect a surprise countdown ceremony leading up to the big flip of the holiday light switch by Mayor Stephanie Orman at 6:00 pm!  

2.  The Activities.

The festivities kick off at 4:00 pm on November 20th with plenty of family-friendly activities in downtown Bentonville. 

Don’t miss the wildly popular First National Bank of NWA Pictures with Santa in front of The Walmart Museum on Main Street.  

Santa's Workshop will be filled with crafting opportunities for the kiddos: 

Jingle Bell Bracelets

Christmas Coloring Cards

Snowman Heads

Snowflake Ornaments

Popsicle Snowman

Keepsake Reindeers

Better Homes & Gardens-Journey Craft Station

Imagination Station Bus brings ornament decorating

Macaroni Kids Reindeer Food booth

3. The Giving Spirit.

Lighting of the Square will include a Spirit of Bentonville Street, showcasing ways you can give back to our community during the holidays and throughout the year.  

Bentonville Schools Adopt-A-Family will have a tree available decorated with gift tags.  Members of the community are encouraged to take a gift tag off of the tree and purchase the item needed to support a local family through the holidays. 

Bentonville West Lady Wolverine Soccer Team will be accepting non-perishable food items or toiletries for a local food pantry.  We encourage everyone to bring a donation to Lighting of the Square!

Boy Scout Troop 450 will be collecting letters to soldiers for all branches of the military.  Handwritten notes can be created and submitted during Lighting of the Square. 


4.  The Music.

Get ready for holiday tunes aplenty!  

Here’s the City of Bentonville Lighting of the Square lineup:  

Ashtyn Barbaree & The Christmas Trees


Mariachi Amistad


Lighting Ceremony


Beer & Hymns Trio (Matt, Ken, & Casey)


5.  Food and warm beverages.

From hot cocoa to hot dogs, food trucks will have something for any holiday hankering.  

Raised and Glazed donuts

Carsten Concessions

K'Zolis LLC

Kettle Ventures- Kettlecorn

Rolling Taco


Java Dudes

Downtown Dawgs

6.  Kids Zone.

Kids Zone returns to Northeast A Street.  Here’s what the kiddos can expect:

Jumping Castle

Climbing Wall

Obstacle Course 

7.  Lawrence Plaza Ice Skating Rink Opens & Skate Exhibition 

Immediately after the Bentonville Square lights come on, head to Lawrence Plaza for an exhibition skate show presented by the Arkansas Figure Skating Association at The Rink.  

The Rink will reopen to the general public at 8:00 pm.

8.  Letters to Santa

The City of Bentonville will officially open the Santa House at Lawrence Plaza, which provides a direct line to the North Pole.

Children are encouraged to write a letter to Santa Claus and send it via the Santa House.  To receive a special reply before Christmas, each letter should include a return address and be dropped off between November 20th and December 5th. 

9. Now, let’s talk...Parking. 

We want to offer as much guidance as possible regarding parking downtown because we know it can get…tricky.

Please remember that roads directly around the Bentonville Square will be closed to accommodate the crowds.  

Here’s a map of available free downtown parking courtesy of our friends at Visit Bentonville.   

10. Share your photos with us & follow along.

@DowntownBentonville is the official social media account for Downtown Bentonville Inc.  We’ll post all event updates on our accounts first, so follow us for the latest news.  

If you attend Lighting of the Square, make sure to tag us on Instagram.  We’ll share your story!