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Eureka Springs Hosts Grand Illumination and May Festival of the Arts

Eureka Springs will come alive with the glow of thousands of lanterns this weekend as the Grand Illumination and May Festival of the Arts begin. KSMU’s Michele Skalicky has more…

The Grand Illumination began last year in the quaint tourist town of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Chinese and Japanese lanterns were hung on the facades of downtown buildings and on the town’s many Victorian homes and Bed and Breakfasts.The lighting is held in conjunction with the town’s May Festival of the Arts, which runs throughout the month of May.Jacqueline Wolven, executive director of Eureka Springs Downtown Network, says it’s hard to say just how many lanterns there will be this year…

"Because people put up lanterns of every of every size--from little thimble size to, you know, giant globe size lanterns. I drove through late last night, and I noticed that there were already thousands of lanterns up, so it is quite spectacular."

As part of the kickoff for the Grand Illumination and the May Festival of the Arts, the Downtown Network will host the Upstairs Downtown Tour & Taste Sunday, which will highlight the interior design and architecture of the some of the town’s more interesting structures. Each location will feature a culinary specialty from an area restaurant. A special lighting in Basin Spring Park starts at 7 Sunday night…

"We light up Basin Spring Park. We have live music. The Awesome Possums are playing, and we are celebrating both the winners of the lighting contest, and then we also are celebrating our Grand Luminary, so we select an individual that we feel lights up Eureka Springs."

Tickets for the Tour & Taste are $20 each, and proceeds will benefit the Eureka Springs Downtown Network.To find out more about the Grand Illumination and the May Festival of the Arts, visit eurekaspringsgrandillumination.com.