Donna Young will be the grand marshal for the Dec. 14 Christmas parade in Van Buren.

Young is a certified financial planner, president of Delta Investment Management and Financial Center Inc. and an active volunteer in the community.

She is a member of the Arkansas Arts Council, treasurer and board member for Court Appointed Special Advocates of Crawford County, past board member of the Van Buren Chamber of Commerce and past member and chairman of the Van Buren Planning Commission.

Young is on the advisory board of the Center for Arts and Education and a board member of the Crawford County Heart Association. She is the recipient of the woman of the year from the Crawford County Business and Professional Women and Sertoman of the year from Old Town Sertoma.

She received the vision award from the CAE, president’s award from the Altrusa International Inc. of Crawford County and Cora Swearingen volunteers of the year award.

Young and her husband Dwayne have six children and five grandchildren. They attend First Presbyterian Church in Fort Smith.

The Van Buren Christmas parade, sponsored by The Old Town Merchants Association, will begin at 6:30 p.m. at 14th and Main streets and continue downtown where it will end at the Crawford County Courthouse.

Parade entries should be in the staging area by 5:15 p.m. Dec. 14.

Special guest of the merchants association will be Santa Claus, who will distribute candy to the children as the parade progresses down Main Street.

No other Santa Claus entries or horses will be allowed in the parade. All beauty queens and pageant royalty are welcome but must furnish their own vehicles.

TOTMA is asking all floats be lighted.

Prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place floats and first place winner for 4A and 3A school bands and first place winner for 2A and 1A school bands. The first place float winner will receive the Art Parks Award to display for the coming year.

Alma will have the first parade of the season Friday. Line up will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the parade will start at 7 p.m.

Starting at Alma High School, the parade will travel up Arkansas 162 until it meets U.S. 64, said organizer John Tribulak.

For those entering the parade, cash prizes will be given out for each category and for overall best float, Tribulak said.

Santa also will be in the parade riding on the Alma Fire Department ladder truck, he said.

Alma Public Library will have an open house and bake sale fundraiser from 5-6:30 p.m., with free hot drinks. A Christmas light show at the Alma Water Park will open beginning Friday night.

The Alma Police Department will hold an open house from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. to show off its newly remodeled facility, according to Chief Russell White.

Dyer and Mulberry parades also will be Dec. 14.

Dyer’s will begin at 11 a.m., and all floats and groups are encouraged to attend.

Line up for the parade will be at 10:30 a.m. at the Dyer Community Building, and the parade will travel along Washington Street to Line Street, down Main Street and circling back to the starting point.

Prizes will be given to the first, second and third place floats.

Mulberry’s Christmas parade will begin at 1 p.m. at the city complex and travel up Main Street to Kirksey Park. Line up will be at 12:30 and all floats and groups are encouraged to join.

Mulberry will also have its Shop With a Cop event Saturday at Bluff Hole Park to raise money for the police department to buy Christmas gifts for local children.

Included in the event will be the Polar Bear Plunge, Turkey Shoot and bake sale.

Other holiday events in Van Buren include the Christmas open house celebration Dec. 14 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. at the Drennen-Scott Historic Site.

Living Windows, the Lighting of the Courthouse and Festival of Trees will be Saturday beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Mountainburg will have its Christmas parade Dec. 21 at 11 a.m. with line up at 10:30 a.m. at the old truck stop. The route will end at Mountainburg Elementary School. Trophies will be awarded for best float and other categories.

Santa will arrive at the end of the parade and kids can get their picture taken with him, and a Christmas party also will be held at the school after the parade to hand out gifts to local children.