2021 Kiwanis Holiday Lights Season to Kick-Off on Friday, November 26
with 6 p.m. Parade and Lighting Ceremony
Mankato, MN – After taking last year off due to COVID-19, the Mankato Downtown Kiwanis Club will host the annual Kiwanis Holiday Lights event November 26 to December 31, 2021 in Mankato’s Sibley Park. Kiwanis Holiday Lights is presented by the Mankato Area Foundation and CHS. The event is free and open to the public, however cash donations will be collected to support the event and its nonprofit volunteers, as well as non-perishable items for the 20 area food shelves that will be participating during the event. Guests can drive or walk through the lights display, and warming houses and concessions will be available each evening. More information and a nightly calendar of events can be found at www.kiwanisholidaylights.com.
The event will kick-off on Friday, November 26 at 6 p.m. with a Parade along Mound Ave., presented by Girl Scouts Troops 34494 & 37938. Inside Sibley Park, Santa will wrap up the parade and flip the switch to turn on the lighted displays and trees for a spectacular finish! Hours of operation are Sunday-Thursday, 5 – 9 p.m., Friday & Saturday, 5-10 p.m. (For safety reasons, the park will open to driving traffic at 8 p.m. on opening night).
This year’s event will feature some exciting new additions:
· 22 new displays will be placed throughout the park
· Hundreds of blue “icicle” lights will rain down at the entrance to the park
· An additional computer-controlled lighted walking tunnel has been added
Other Kiwanis Holiday Lights traditions include:
· Free visits with Santa Friday-Sunday nights through Sunday, Dec. 19
· Ice skating at the Mary Dotson Skating Rink and warming house (bring your own skates)
· Four live reindeer will be in the farm area throughout the event
· Lighted computer-animated driving and walking tunnels
· “Dancing lights” displays computer programmed to holiday music
“After taking last year off due to COVID-19, we’re excited to be able to offer a bigger and better event to the community,” said Scott Wojcik, President of Kiwanis Holiday Lights. “Our sponsors and volunteers, as well as the generous donations by those visiting the park help make Kiwanis Holiday Lights possible each year.”
This year, over 80 businesses are participating as cash or in-kind supporters of the event and 60 nonprofit organizations will be providing over 12,000 volunteer hours as they assist with set-up, tear-down and running the event each night. Each nonprofit group will again display a decorated tree devoted to their organization.
For a complete calendar of events and more information, visit www.kiwanisholidaylights.com, “Like” the Kiwanis Holiday Lights Facebook page, email email@example.com or call the Kiwanis Holiday Lights information line at 507-385-9129.
Historical Statistics since Kiwanis Holiday Lights first started in 2012:
· The event has been 100% volunteer managed and operated.
· Over 1,160,000 people have attended the event.
· 108.7 tons of food has been collected for area food shelves.
· $432,000 has been donated to area nonprofit organizations.
· Over 100,000 volunteer hours have been provided by 14,250 individuals.
· Over 22,000 children have visited Santa in his workshop.
· Over 150 businesses have been involved as volunteers and sponsors.
Kiwanis Holiday Lights was established in 2012 by members of the Kiwanis Club of Mankato. The Kiwanis Holiday Lights mission is “Create a celebration of Holiday Lights for the Greater Mankato Area that builds on past traditions and promotes the communities we serve, while raising non-perishable food donations for those in need.” The free event is held each year in Sibley Park in Mankato, MN. Cash and food donations are accepted each night.