Excited onlookers lined the streets as the annual Christmas Parade lit up the town. Many businesses and individuals decorated their floats to the tune of The Mena/Polk County Chamber of Commerce’s ‘A Candyland Christmas’ theme. Giant lollipops, gingerbread houses, and even a candy carousel were seen throughout what was possibly the largest parade that Mena has ever seen.
Mayor George McKee agreed, “I’ve never seen a parade that long here in Mena. I think it may have been the biggest.”
In the parade competition, the Polk County Marching Band was named Chamber Favorite. The Polk County Marching Band is comprised of members of Mena, Cossatot River, and Acorn band students. This is the first year in history that all three county school districts were represented by a marching band in the parade.
Best Theme Representation was awarded to Mena Regional Health System. Polk County 4-H was named 1st Place in Best in Show, followed by Scott Sawyer for Polk County Sheriff in 2nd place, and Select Realty grabbed 3rd place.
After the parade, the festivities moved over to Janssen Park where the Mena A&P Commission had Lana Gail & Gail Force entertain the crowd with live hopping Christmas music. The Lighting of Janssen Park was a big hit with kids in the crowd as the magical characters and displays filled the air with lights of all colors.
“It was real nice. The lights are beautiful and the Parks Department did a great job, as always,” said Mayor McKee. He explained that each year the City adds something new to the lighting display. This year, the Parks Department built the new Merry Christmas sign that tops the historic cabin in the center of the park. “They did an exceptional job,” he said.
Also new this year were extra decorations and lights on City Hall’s light poles and columns. “It was an exceptional night for the town of Mena. I know everyone enjoyed it. We’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year,” said Mayor McKee.