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The City of Sherwood Parks and Recreation Department and the Advertising and Promotions Commission proudly announce that the 2021 Enchanted Forest Trail of Lights will open at 6 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 19. The entrance has been moved to Dee Jay Hudson Drive instead of Bear Paw Road this season to combat the previous year’s traffic issues.
“In 2020, we saw record visits, which also meant heavier traffic than normal,” said Darren Austin, Parks and Recreation Department director. “We have listened to the concerns of residents in the Bear Paw Road area and have made this change to our entrance to help with traffic issues that the popularity of this event brings. We have done some necessary improvements on a maintenance trail to be able to move the entrance to Dee Jay Hudson Drive.”
The operating hours of the 2021 Trail of Lights are 6-9:30 p.m. Nov. 19 through Dec. 30. The mile-long drive-through trail entrance is located in the Sherwood Sports Complex parking lot, which must be accessed now from Dee Jay Hudson Drive from Arkansas Hwy. 107, rather than from Bear Paw Road. Staff will block driveways along Dee Jay Hudson Drive for Sylvan Hills High School during the Trail of Lights hours to keep people from cutting in line. Students, parents, and guests may access after-hours events scheduled at SHHS from Bear Paw Road, including playoff games, band and choir concerts, and theater performances.
The entrance to the trail is just past the Henson Tennis Center driveway, which is located at 420 Dee Jay Hudson Drive. Please note: a portion of the new entrance is gravel. The gate at Dee Jay Hudson Drive will close by 9:30 p.m. to allow visitors to get through the light display promptly. By this time, cars inside the first gate will be allowed entrance and may have up to a two-hour wait once inside. Traffic within the gate is serpentined through the sports complex parking lots for a length of approximately one mile. Admission to the trail is free, but cash donations help provide new displays and upgrades each year.
This year, eleven new displays have been added. These include the final two additions to the 12 days of Christmas from the 2020 donations — 11 Pipers Piping and 12 Drummers Drumming. Private individuals or businesses donated eight others including, Snowman in Sombrero, C130 with Santa Hat and Antlers, Santa Bulldozer with Reindeer, Proposal, Razorback, Sherwood for Sale, Purple Dinosaur, Ginger Bread House and four new Angel Memorial displays.
The Trail of Lights is sponsored by the Sherwood Advertising & Promotion Commission and organized by the Parks & Recreation Department each year. Volunteer groups help manage the trail during evening hours. For information on purchasing a display for the 2022 Trail of Lights, contact Dianna Price at 501-835-6893.