SMACKOVER, ARK. (KTVE/KARD) — The Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources’ Oil Field Park is lit up with the sights and sounds of Christmas each holiday season and it is starting up again soon this 2022 season. A variety of lights and music are set up for excitement for the community.

The Holiday Lights Extravaganza started in 2007 to commemorate a heartwarming story from the past. In 1935, a 13-year-old Smackover resident, Eddie Rouse, won a Christmas Decoration contest. For the contest, he nailed two pieces of wood together to create a cross and used lights to wire it up.

For several years after this contest, Eddie became a sort of Union County hero. He was a star athlete and went on to join General Patton’s Third Army of paratroopers in World War II. Sadly, Eddie did not return home and was killed by sniper fire.

To celebrate his life after that, Eddie’s mom would put out his cross. For the past 15 years, the museum has used the Holiday Light Extravaganza to remember this story and Eddie’s life.

Starting November 18, 2022, the extravaganza will be open at the Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM. The event will continue every Friday and Saturday night until December 17, 2022.

The cost of entry is $10 per carload and includes a walking tour, about a quarter mile long. The walk is easy and wheelchair accessible, and free hot chocolate is offered in the lobby.