Get ready for the weekend | Arkansas Blog

Friday, December 1, 2006

Get ready for the weekend

Posted By on Fri, Dec 1, 2006 at 7:06 PM

Consider this an open line. But also take note:

1) Seasonal festivities. (And, hey, there was a crowd at the lighting of the Christmas tree on the promenade in Hillcrest Friday night): There's a "Winter Wonderland" event at the Clinton Library from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday -- lights, music, etc. Be there. Full details on the jump.

2) If you're going to visit friends and family at Children's Hospital -- and we hope you'll do so if you know someone there -- be advised of the traffic change. Marshall Street in front of the hospital is being closed to through traffic effective Sunday. New approach patterns are in the news release on the jump.


The Clinton Foundation will celebrate the holiday season with a Winter Wonderland family festival at the Clinton Center this Sunday, December 3, from 3:30-6:30 pm. The event, including the holiday lighting ceremony, will feature festive music from local choirs,
holiday games, hay rides and activities for children, as well a special
appearance by Santa Claus. The public is invited to attend.

The lighting ceremony for the Presidential Park, Christmas tree and Menorah
is scheduled for 5:30 pm during the event. The Jennings Osborne Family will
participate in the ceremony.

"This festive family event will have something for all ages, and the light
display will be one of the largest in region," stated Stephanie Streett,
Executive Director of the Clinton Foundation. "We invite the community to
join us at the Clinton Presidential Park this Sunday to celebrate the
holiday season."

The dazzling light display, featuring over 100,000 lights on eighty trees
along President Clinton Avenue, is graciously provided by the Jennings
Osborne Family, who also provides holiday lights to Graceland in Memphis,
Tennessee, and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

The featured centerpiece for the event is a live 25 ft. evergreen Christmas

"The Christmas tree will be replanted at Bemis Tree Farm after the holiday
season in hopes of using the same tree year after year", stated Debbie
Shock, Director of Clinton Center Operations and Facilities.

Winter Wonderland is sponsored by the Clinton Foundation and the Jennings
Osborne Family with special appreciation to the Bemis Tree Farm for
contributing the live Christmas tree.

³The City of Little Rock is pleased to see this event happening in the
Park,² said Assistant City Manager Bryan Day.  ³This is exactly the type of
activities we were hoping to see when the City and the Clinton Foundation
started discussing plans for the Clinton Presidential Park.  It offers
activities for all of the citizens of Little Rock.²

Unique holiday gifts can be purchased at the Clinton Museum Store (610
President Clinton Ave.) or shop online at  There
are many new gift ideas for the holiday season, including a 24 kt.
gold-finished commemorative ornament depicting the Oval Office and a
brand-new coffee table book showcasing the Clinton Center with over three
hundred photographs.

In addition to Winter Wonderland, a special holiday exhibit titled ³Holidays
in the White House², will open on December 9 and run through January 21 at
the Clinton Center.


Starting the evening of Sunday, Dec. 3, Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH) will permanently close Marshall Street along the two blocks directly in front of the hospital to ensure the safety of patients, families, staff and visitors.

Employees and commuters who drive near and to ACH will need to make a route change because Marshall Street will be blocked off between 8th and 10th Streets. From now forward, this area will be used only for drop-off and pick-up in front of the hospital. Those who need to reach the hospital’s front can travel up Maryland Street from Martin Luther King Jr. and turn right on Marshall to circle around the hospital’s entrance.

“We will set up concrete barriers that will block people from making a turn in front of ACH from I-630,” said Scott Gordon, executive vice president and chief operating officer of ACH. “These will be painted and will have flashing lights installed to direct people to travel east on 8th and turn right on MLK.”


Safety is the highest priority at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, and closing Marshall Street is essential to ensure that those entering the hospital may do so without risk. On a daily basis, more than 5,000 cars travel directly in front of the hospital on Marshall Street – two-thirds of which are only “passing through.” That’s 3.5 cars per minute, 24 hours a day.

The peril of such a situation is easy to imagine: A tired mother with a coughing baby on her hip holds the hand of her energetic older child, who is eager to cross Marshall Street as dozens of cars whiz by.

“More than 11,000 cars travel through the intersection (near I-630) every day, and that creates a great challenge for our families and visitors trying to enter the hospital,” Gordon said. “This closure will help us provide a safer environment for our families, employees and patients as they come from our parking areas into our buildings.”


The Little Rock City Board of Directors unanimously approved the closure of Marshall Street earlier this year. The hospital has coordinated the closure with the Little Rock Fire Department, the Little Rock Police Department and the various ambulance services in the state that transport patients to ACH.


Traffic coming off I-630 will not be able to turn right in front of the hospital as a result of the closure. Because of this, vehicles will need to make a right turn on MLK and another right turn on Maryland Street to enter the ACH campus. ACH has outlined plans to alleviate traffic that will be directed to this area near Martin Luther King Elementary School. In the future, traffic signals funded by ACH will be installed at 10th and MLK Streets, as well as at 10th and Battery Streets.


“ACH wants its patients and staff to have the safest and happiest experience possible on campus,” Gordon said. “We appreciate the flexibility of the community in adapting to this change and look forward to offering a safer environment for all who frequent the hospital.”



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