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Mountain Home’s Coulter Celebration of Lights officially opened this week with a grand light ceremony on Friday, marking the third year in a row that the city has held a Christmas light show.
The ceremony was followed by its Candy Cane 5k, which saw runners wind their way through the campus’s lit Christmas trails.
With the light show now open, residents and guests are free to drive through each evening to enjoy the Christmas festivities.
ASUMH and the City of Mountain Home are still looking for volunteers to man the donation booths at the show. All donations go towards keeping the light show going for the next year, with the remaining money going towards scholarships for local students.
From Dec. 14-17, Santa Clause will again visit the Coulter Celebration of lights starting from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Families are encouraged to bring their children for a visit before strolling through campus. Food from Heavenly Ground Food Truck will be available each night.
On Dec. 15-16, ASUMH will bring out winter slides for children to play on after visiting Santa Clause. The slides will be available from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. The winter slides are provided by Perfect Parties USA. ASUMH will have the Everest slide and Snowzilla Jr. slide this year.
The Coulter Celebration of Lights is a joint light festival created by former ASUMH Chancellor Robin Myers, Mountain Home Mayor Hillrey Adams, Dr. Ed Coulter, chancellor emeritus of ASUMH, and his wife, Lucretia Coulter.
The festival first gained traction after Adams and Myers came up with the idea for a Christmas light show in Mountain Home. From there, Adams raised $30,000 to start the show, with an additional $50,000 donation coming from Mountain Home’s City Council.
Following the announcement of the festival and calls for donations, the Coulter family stepped in and donated $200,000 to elevate the light show to a new level. The donation was made in honor of Dr. Fran Dryer Coulter, who passed away from cancer in 2004.
The campus light show was a hit, drawing in $38,000 in community donations throughout its first season. The festival raised $418,000 overall in its first year.
The light show is put together by crews from ASU-MH’s maintenance division and crews from Mountain Home’s Parks and Recreation division.
A quarter of the money donated to the Coulter Celebration of Lights will fund scholarships for local students attending college courses in town.
The Coulter Celebration of Lights is currently looking for more volunteers to help make this Christmas a special time to remember. If you would like to donate to the celebration or volunteer, please contact Mollie Morgan at [email protected] or (870) 508-6191.