Benton Christmas festival set for Dec. 9

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The town of Benton invites you to “Mingle, Jingle and be Merry” at their annual holiday festival this weekend.

The 18th annual Christmas festival and parade will be held Saturday, Dec. 9, in the historic Heritage Village Square. Events will be held rain or shine and includes free activities for children, shopping booths, arts and crafts, food vendors, demonstrations, an afternoon parade through the streets of Benton and much more.

Volunteers work hard each year to bring in a variety of vendors and activities that will appeal to all audiences. This year’s event is sure to be a treat.

Opening ceremonies begin at 10 a.m. followed by the Dash around the Square 5k and one mile fun run. Registration fee is $20 until December 8th and $25 on race day. Kids 1 mile Fun Run (kids 10 under!) is $15 until December 8th and $20 on race day. Online registration can be completed at www.sportspectrumusa.com.

The children’s area, which is full on free activities, will be open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. with crowd favorites like the cow train. There will also be horse rides, bounce houses, rides and more.

Live entertainment, arts and craft vendors as well as a gift marketplace will fill the historic Heritage Village square. There’s also a student art contest, a classic car show, and photos with Santa.

Vendors from near and far will be set up on festival day, offering a variety of handmade items and home cooked goods.

Another highlight of any festival is the food. Everything from prepackaged dip mixes to main course items will be for sale.

Crowds will line the streets, hoping to grab some candy and throws as the floats pass by, during the 3 p.m. parade. Marching and riding units include local performance groups, churches, marching bands and public officials.

The parade starts at Simpson Street and Sibley Street, travels south on Sibley before crossing over on Old Bellevue Road. The parade will then travel north on Lee Street up to Simpson, make a right turn and continue down Simpson to unload near Montgomery. 

There will be a “NO THROW ZONE” through the vendor area on Sibley Street.

Parking is limited at the festival site. Free parking and a shuttle to the festival is available at the Bossier Parish Court House. Simply park at the courthouse on Burt Boulevard, hop on a bus and ride to a designated drop-off location near the festival site. Buses begin running at 9:30 a.m. and the last bus leaves the festival site at 5:00 p.m.

For more information, visit www.bentonchristmasonthesquare.com or check out their Facebook page.