Shop Til’ You Drop

Each November, a special event comes to life in Benton to bring holiday cheer and shopping fun to the community while also boosting the local economy. Glitz & Garland is presented in partnership by the Benton Area Chamber of Commerce and the Saline Health Foundation, with presenting sponsor Everett Buick GMC.

Held at the Benton Event Center, the event is open to the public from Friday, November 4th, through Saturday, the 5th. A private Girls’ Night Out event is scheduled for Thursday, November 3rd. 

This year marks the 11th for the shopping extravaganza. It has taken place every year since 2011, except for 2020 when it was canceled during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“The Benton Chamber is proud of Glitz & Garland being the community event that kicks off the Christmas season for many of our local businesses and residents,” says Gary James, Chamber president. “It has evolved and expanded from when it began in 2011 and continues to grow both in size and attendance.” 

When the concept of Glitz & Garland was first developing, the Benton Chamber, a nonprofit, wanted to bring in another nonprofit. Saline Health Foundation joined the effort, and both organizations have benefited from the event ever since.

Event sponsor Everett Buick GMC has generously donated a vehicle to be raffled, (even in 2020 when no event was held). Five hundred tickets are available for $100 each. “The raffle has sold out every year,” says Amy McCormick, Director of Business and Events for the Chamber. This year, a red 2022 GMC Sierra 1500 Limited Pro truck is the prize. It is on display in the Chamber parking lot at 607 N. Market Street. 

Gary says he wants to thank the Everett family “for their continued support and involvement with Glitz, along with their support of our entire community.”

The event had its start at Holland Chapel Baptist Church’s Family Life Center with 35-40 vendors, Amy recalls, who joined the Chamber a few months before the first Glitz & Garland. “We hoped for the best and hoped it would draw a crowd. Ever since year one, we’ve had a waiting list for vendors.”

With the opening of the Benton Event Center, the shopping event has doubled in size. “Now we have over 80 booths,” says Amy, noting, “We utilize every inch of space we can.”

The event draws about 5,000 people each year, including the Girls’ Night Out, which became a part of the festivities about five years ago, Amy says.

Everything from home décor, holiday decorations, and clothing to personal care items is available from the various vendors. There are even hunting items for sale, Amy adds. “We do have category limits so we can have a good blend of merchandise to make sure we don’t have too much of one thing—such as jewelry, for example—and so that we make sure it’s a good show for shoppers and vendors.”

The Girls’ Night Out event gives shoppers an opportunity to peruse vendors before the show opens to the public. For only $30, attendees can enjoy a night out while also enjoying good food and libations. “The event is catered by Gina’s Catering, which offers a full buffet of delicious food,” Amy says.

A signature cocktail and beer and wine also are offered. “Girls’ Night Out is a great opportunity to come out with your girlfriends, mom, daughter, sister, co-workers, and friends. You’ll have a fun night out, enjoy some good food and cocktails and a chance to get some shopping in before the event is open to everyone.” 

Girls’ Night Out will take place 6-9 pm on Nov. 3rd, and tickets will go on sale the week of Oct. 10. Tickets, limited to 350, are available online at or through the Benton Chamber website, 

Each year, vendors from Arkansas and surrounding states like Oklahoma and Mississippi come to Benton for the show. “It’s an exciting time to discover new vendors that you might not know about,” Amy says. “They travel and do this all the time, and we always hear about how they love Glitz & Garland. They do well here and enjoy the community and the people.” 

Vendors are encouraged to donate door prizes shoppers can win after spending at least $100.. “It’s a great way to get more stuff,” Amy says, “and you don’t have to be present to win.” The entry fee to the show on Friday or Saturday is $5.

The Chamber’s mission is to promote commerce within Benton and Saline County by supporting the existing businesses and enhancing the development of new business enterprises. Glitz & Garland has a strong economic impact on the vendors that participate along with area businesses, such as restaurants and hotels that benefit from people who come to Saline County for the show, Gary notes.

“We’re here to promote business and the community, and Glitz & Garland does both,” Amy adds. “It kicks off the Christmas season, everyone is in a good mood, and the event provides a happy, bright spot as we approach the holidays.”