10th Annual Kiwanis Holiday Lights Kicks-Off on
Friday, November 25 with 6 p.m. Parade and Lighting Ceremony
Kiwanis Holiday Lights will celebrate its 10th season from November 25 to December 31, 2022 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 food items for the 19 area food shelves that will participate in 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 25 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 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).
“We’ve been working hard throughout the year to make sure our tenth season offers visitors more lights, displays and holiday magic,” said President Scott Wojcik. “We expect a record number of visitors this year to join in our celebration.”
Because this year marks the 10th season of Kiwanis Holiday Lights, the organization’s volunteer board has worked throughout the year to make special preparations to mark this milestone:
• The event’s marketing has an all-new look including a new logo and color palette, a new and more comprehensive website, refreshed print ads and community lamp post banners.
• New lighted displays include leaping dolphins, ice fishing penguins, a Merry Christmas train, and festive elves. Many displays have also been restrung with new lighting and new songs will be featured in the animated “dancing lights” area.
• The concessions stand has added an anniversary tree ornament to its offerings as well as LED lighted necklaces and holiday flashing wands.
• One of the warming houses will feature a historical display depicting the 10 seasons of Kiwanis Holiday Lights
• The Opening Night Parade on Nov. 25 will have a record number of float entries.
• A record number of business sponsorships have been sold to support this year’s event.
• A record number of volunteers have helped with the five weeks of set-up this year.
• The largest regional reach for the food shelves that will receive donated food items, with 19 regional food shelves participating from a multi-county area.
Other Kiwanis Holiday Lights traditions include:
· Free visits with Santa Friday-Sunday nights through Friday, Dec. 23
· Four live reindeer will be in the farm area throughout the event
· Lighted computer-animated driving and walking tunnels
· “Dancing lights” displays programmed to holiday music
For a complete calendar of events and more information, visit www.kiwanisholidaylights.com, “Like” the Kiwanis Holiday Lights Facebook page, email firstname.lastname@example.org 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 1.4 million people have attended the event.
· 120.7 tons of food has been collected for area food shelves.
· $513,000 has been donated to area nonprofit organizations.
· Over 115,000 volunteer hours have been provided by 16,700 individuals.
· Over 27,000 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.