It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in downtown Conway.

The Conway Downtown Partnership kicked off the holiday season with a window-unveiling ceremony Saturday, Nov. 9, at 6 p.m. Window shoppers strolled down city sidewalks lined with garland-wrapped lampposts to see how area merchants have adorned their storefronts in preparation for Christmas Open House the following day.

Christmas Open House took place from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 10. Kim Williams, executive director of the Conway Downtown Partnership, said the event drew the largest crowd she has seen in the past four years.

"While low turnout in previous years can be attributed to inclement weather, I think the variety and caliber of shops has improved the turnout," Williams said. "It was a beautiful day, so that obviously helped, but the core and strength of the stores downtown is even better than before. People were excited to be out shopping and were excited about the decorations and the progress being made at Rogers Plaza."

Williams said many downtown merchants reported the best Christmas Open House they have had in years. "Some stores were so packed that you couldn’t get into the door. I only wish that more restaurants would have been open to take advantage of the great crowds."

On Saturday, Nov. 23, the City of Conway will light its new Christmas tree at Rogers Plaza. Standing at 54 feet tall, it will be the largest Christmas tree in Arkansas. Festivities will begin at 4 p.m. and will include songs by adult and children’s choirs and photo opportunities with Santa. The evening’s festivities will conclude with the dedication and lighting of the Christmas tree.

The Christmas Parade will take place Saturday, Dec. 14, at 6 p.m. in downtown Conway and is sponsored by the American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Faulkner County. Entry forms are available for pickup at the Conway Area Chamber of Commerce, located at 900 Oak Street. A $10 entry fee serves as a donation to Relay For Life of Faulkner County. For more information about the parade, contact Deidra Porter at 501-908-6617.

Kim Williams said residents and visitors alike are sure to get into the holiday spirit when they come downtown. "Seeing the garland-wrapped lampposts and the largest Christmas tree in the state will make this one of the most exciting Christmas seasons downtown Conway has experienced."