Event Hours Sunday-Thursday 5-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday 5-10 p.m. (Note: The warming houses, including the skating rink warming house, are only open during event hours)
Santa’s Hours Fridays until Christmas 6-10 p.m. Saturdays until Christmas 5-9 p.m. Sundays until Christmas 5-9 p.m. A free book will be presented to each child visiting Santa, courtesy of the Mankato Area Foundation and The Child’s World book publisher.
Horse-drawn Wagon Rides $5 per person. Available during event hours Friday through Sunday, weather permitting.
Other Facts Since the event started in 2012
Over $60,000 has been donated to the community non-profits who helped with the event
Thirty tons of food has been collected for area food shelves
An estimated ¼ million people have visited the park
New this year
Expanded animated “dancing lights” area with the addition of some new songs
Four new lighted displays including Santa and his Reindeer, Two Elves throwing Snowballs, a Nativity and a Candy Cane Cottage
An elevated walkway has been added so that visitors to get a closer view of the center tree.
Purple light strings have been purchased to complement the existing Red, Blue, Orange, Yellow and Green light strings.
Dated ornaments and other novelty items will be for sale in the warming house
The train trestle at the Woodland Avenue walking entrance has been lighted to provide a safer and brighter entrance for those walking into the park.
Over one million energy-efficient LED lights glowed brightly throughout the event, with electricity costing less than $30 a night!
Over 35,000 vehicles drove through the display with an average of 3 people per car. Together with much increased walking traffic over last year, the number of visitors totaled over 150,000 (2012: 100,000)
www.kiwanisholidaylights.com received over 28,000 visits 15.3 tons of food was collected by 15 area food shelves (2012: 13 tons)
Thirty-five businesses and non-profits entered lighted floats in the parade and many thousands of families turned-out to see the parade and lighting ceremony on the opening night 3
Cash sponsorships and in-kind donations of goods and services were provided by nearly 100 area businesses and individuals
Thirty five restaurants donated food to help feed the volunteers during the event (2012: 21), as well as during set-up and tear-down
Santa took requests in his workshop from little ones Friday-Sunday nights, totaling over 52 hours and four live reindeer were again on display from Thanksgiving until Christmas
Nearly 7,000 volunteer hours went into producing the event, with 1,288 volunteers participating
$40,000 was donated back to the 72 (2012: 53) non-profits that assisted with set-up, tear-down and evening volunteer help during the event
Info for Drivers and Walkers
The park won’t close while you’re in line! Drivers who are in line at the time of closing will still be able to drive-through the displays. At closing time volunteers will take a “last car out” sign to designate where the line ends.
The best way to see the lights is by both driving through the displays AND taking time to walk the Candy Cane path! There are several parking spaces along the loop where cars can park and allow their occupants to enter the warming houses or walk the path.
Or, come back another time to walk through the park! Parking is also available on-street outside of the park and in the CHS parking lot along Woodland Ave. This year we’ve lit-up the area under the train trestle so that it’s even easier to walk to the park!