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Frequently Asked Questions


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We want our community to have guidelines on the types of lighting events that will be displayed for the Peitz River Lights.  Our policy makes sure that we use consistent rules and that we avoid areas that might produce division in our community.  We know that we won't be able to make everyone happy; please know that these guidelines were constructed with much thought and care.

The Peitz River Lights Bridge Lighting Policy

The Peitz River Lights will illuminate for the following federal and major holidays. 

2022 Federal Holidays:

New Year's Day: Saturday, January 1 (Observed Friday, December 31)

Martin Luther King Jr Day: Monday, January 17

President's Day: Monday, February 21

Memorial Day: Monday, May 30

Juneteenth: Sunday, June 19 (Observed Monday, June 20)

Independence Day: Monday, July 4

Labor Day: Monday, September 5

Indigenous Peoples' Day (also observed as Columbus Day): Monday, October 10

Veterans' Day: Friday, November 11

Thanksgiving: Thursday, November 24

Christmas Day: Sunday, December 25 (Observed Monday, December 26)

Other important days to note:

Valentine's Day: Monday, February 14

Mardi Gras:  February 22 to March 1

St Patrick's Day: Thursday, March 17

Good Friday: Friday, April 15

Easter: Sunday, April 17

Mother's Day: Sunday, May 8

Father's Day: Sunday, June 19

Please note that we reserve the right to refuse any request or rental at our discretion.

Renting the Peitz River Lights

The lights are available for rent for events such as:

  • Birthdays
  • Memorials
  • Wedding or Anniversary
  • Pregnancy gender reveals
  • Sports events
  • Business events
  • A dedicated Health Awareness observance

Political Events

The Peitz River Lights rental policy does not accept lighting rentals that have political overtones such as:

  • A specific party's election victory or partisan political rally (for elections, the bridge is red, white, and blue)
  • A political advocacy group or observance
  • The passage of a law or a Supreme Court decision
  • Events in the global arena 

Health Awareness Days/Months

Because there are literally hundreds of well-known and lesser-known health observances, please understand that we cannot accept requests for lightings to recognize a particular "Awareness" day or month except as rentals.  The Peitz River Lights will designate one day of each month as "Health Awareness Day".  A multi-color illumination will be used to represent the many agencies we are recognizing, along with a Tonight's Light article listing the Health Awareness agencies for that month.

If your agency wishes to be included, use the Contact Us form to have your official agency make the request to be included in the appropriate month of our designated Health Awareness Day. 

The Cotter Bridge is one of the most photographed bridges in the U.S.  With lights on our bridge, we have an Instagram moment waiting to happen. The more who view the gorgeous bridge (lit up and looking fancy) on social media, the more likely we will have new families and outdoor enthusiasts visiting Cotter. The more visitors, the more likely businesses, including restaurants, will decide that an investment in Cotter will pay off. For area citizens, it means job opportunities and a revitalized town. 

Cotter, Arkansas is a historic river town located on the White River in Baxter County and is in the north-central region of Arkansas in the stunning Ozark Mountains.

The Cotter Bridge is in downtown Cotter overlooking Big Spring Park. Click on this link to view a map in the Contact Us section.

To get a first glimpse of the bridge lights, consider driving over the bridge on your way to Big Spring Park. From Hwy. 62/412 West, take the first Cotter exit (Hwy. 62 B); from Hwy. 62/412 East, take the second Cotter exit (Hwy. 62 B). Travel a short distance on Hwy. 62 B before crossing the historic Cotter Bridge spanning the White River.

As you exit the east end of the bridge, turn right at the 4-way stop onto Hwy. 345 / Cotter Road. Take the next street on the right (Big Spring Parkway) to enter Big Spring Park. Follow the road, veering right, until you reach the parking lot next to the boat launch. There are ample viewing locations from this parking lot and throughout the adjacent grounds.

Walk underneath the bridge and follow the walking path for a bit. Turn around and smile as you see our beautiful rainbow bridge.

Bring some folding chairs or a blanket so you can relax while taking in the view. There are plenty of grassy areas to set up camp. In fact, we recommend making an evening of viewing the lights. 

Here's a list of items that will help you have a memorable night:

  • Picnic supper (we expect to have food trucks in the future, but right now bring your own food and drink). No alcohol is permitted in the park.
  • Blanket or tablecloth (there are picnic tables throughout the park if you'd rather sit at a table)
  • Folding chairs
  • Bug spray
  • Jackets (you will be sitting next to the White River; once it is dark, a beautiful mist comes up and with it a cooling breeze that might beg for a jacket)

The bridge lights will come on when it is dark.  The time will vary depending upon the season.  If you are making an evening of viewing the lights, plan to set up and have your picnic before it gets dark.  That way, you will be able to relax and watch the bridge illuminate with a full tummy.

Click/tap here for the night's color scheme and if the bridge lights are honoring a particular event.

The walking paths are handicap accessible and there are multiple parking spaces marked as handicapped. 

Thank you for supporting our bridge! At the top of any page on this website, you will see an option, "Support Our Bridge." Click on that link and you will navigate to our donation page. You have the option of donating online (through a secure payment option) or finding more information on where to mail in your donation if you prefer that method.

The donations will be used to maintain the bridge lights, utilities, and the website hosting/updates. In addition, some donations will be used to fund Big Spring Park projects such as adding holiday event lights, improving park lighting, enhancing the park amenities and other opportunities to continue making Big Spring Park a family-friendly venue.

Yes! The Cotter Gassville Chamber of Commerce is a 501c3. Your donation is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Click here to navigate to our donor list: Donors

Have you heard about Light the Night? You will be able to rent the Peitz River Lights on the Cotter Bridge for an evening to honor someone's birthday, anniversary, company milestone, etc.

Also, rent the Pavilion at Big Spring Park and make it an evening to remember. Picture you and your family/friends standing under the Cotter Bridge; it gets dark and then... the bridge lights up in your honor (and in your chosen colors).  Contact Cotter City Hall at 870.435.6326 to reserve the Pavillion. 

Wouldn't it be super cool to do a gender reveal with the bridge lights?

The Light the Night fee will be used to maintain the bridge lights, utilities, and the website hosting/updates. In addition, some fees will be used to fund Big Spring Park projects such as adding holiday event lights, improving park lighting, enhancing the park amenities and other opportunities to continue making Big Spring Park a family-friendly venue.

Click/tap here for the night's color scheme and if the bridge lights are honoring a particular event.

Click/tap here for the night's color scheme and if the bridge lights are honoring a particular event.