7th annual Kiwanis Holiday Lights to Kick-Off November 23
New displays, Ice Sculpting Contest, Ferris Wheel, and Carousel as well as #onlyinmn monument to be featured this year!
The Mankato Downtown Kiwanis Club will host the Seventh Annual Kiwanis Holiday Lights from November 23 to December 31, 2018, 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 17 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 23 at 6 p.m. with a Parade presented by Girl Scouts Mankato Area Service Unit. 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:
* Rides will be offered on a 40’ Lighted Ferris Wheel on opening weekend ($2 per person)
* Rides will be offered on a lighted Carousel every night of the event ($2 per person)
* The #onlyinmn monument from Explore Minnesota will be on-site through Dec. 12
* An Ice Sculpting Contest will be held for the second year on Friday, December 14 and Saturday, December 15. Four sculptors will compete for a “People’s Choice Award” that will be presented upon completion of the sculptures on Dec. 15.
* Children can drop their letters to Santa in the red mailbox by Santa’s house. All letters will be answered.
* Learn to Curl with the Mankato Curling Club on Friday, Dec. 21 at the Mary Dotson Skating Rink.
* MORE –
Other Kiwanis Holiday Lights traditions include:
* Free visits with Santa Friday-Sunday nights through Dec. 23
* Ice skating at the Mary Dotson Skating Rink and warming house (bring your own skates)
* Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides for $5 per person on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights
* Live reindeer
* A lighted computer-animated driving and walking tunnel
* “Dancing lights” display computer programmed to holiday music
* A 60’ lighted center tree
“We continue to add new attractions and displays each year,” said Scott Wojcik, Kiwanis Holiday Lights President. “Thanks to the continued support of our sponsors and volunteer organizations we’re thrilled to be able to continue this popular holiday tradition into our seventh season,” he said.
This year, 88 businesses are participating as cash or in-kind supporters of the event and 76 non-profit organizations will be providing over 12,000 volunteer hours as they assist with set-up, tear-down and running the event each night. Each non-profit 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 for first six years of Kiwanis Holiday Lights:
* The event has been 100% volunteer managed and operated.
* 905,000 people have attended the event.
* 83.4 tons of food has been collected for area food shelves.
* $302,000 has been donated to area nonprofit organizations.
* 61,518 volunteer hours have been provided by 9,977 individuals.
* Over 19,000 children have visited Santa in his workshop.
* Over 100 businesses have been involved as volunteers and sponsors.
The Greater Mankato Area Girl Scouts are proud to present the 2018 Kiwanis Holiday Lights opening day parade on Friday, November 23rd at 6 pm. This year’s parade festivities include many lighted floats with special surprises and an appearance by Santa Claus. The parade will be led by Grand Marshal Mitzi Roberts, Owner/Director of Dance Express. This free event is made possible by generous sponsors, volunteer groups and donors.
People attending the parade are encouraged to arrive early and bring lawn chairs and blankets for seating along the parade route as there will be extremely limited seating in the warming house near the end of the parade. Parking is available near the Sibley Park Ball Diamonds, CHS parking lot on Woodland Avenue or along the neighborhood streets. Make sure to dress your family warm! A concession stand will be open so you can get some holiday snacks and hot chocolate or apple cider to warm up!
The parade begins at the intersection of Rogers Street and Owens Street and continues through Sibley Park concluding near the Sibley Park Pavilion. A parade route map, including designated parking areas, can be found online at kiwanisholidaylights.com/calendar/parade.
A Lighting Ceremony in Sibley Park will be held immediately following the parade. The lights display will open to driving traffic starting at 8 pm on November 23rd following the parade and will remain open through December 31st. Admission for walking and driving traffic is free, but visitors are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items or a cash donation. In addition to the lights display, Kiwanis Holiday Lights also features Santa in his workshop, live reindeer, a skating rink, and horse-drawn carriage rides.
About the Greater Mankato Area Girl Scouts: Girl Scouts offers the best leadership development experience for girls in grades K through 12, setting them up for a lifetime of success. The inclusive, all-female environment of a Girl Scout troop creates a safe space where girls can try new things and be themselves. From adventuring outdoors or experimenting with science to saving a park or developing new skills, Girl Scouting prepares girls for a lifetime of leadership. Girl Scouts was founded in 1912 by Juliette Gordon Low. As Girl Scouts progress from Daisy to Ambassador, the awards they earn symbolize new and higher levels of achievement—and ultimately a deeper understanding of what it means to be a leader. Some awards are related to specific activities (the Global Action award, for example), while others, like the Girl Scout Bronze, Silver, and Gold Award, recognize larger projects that girls complete on their own. The Girl Scout Gold Award is earned by girls in grades 9 through 12 and is the highest award a Girl Scout can earn and is equivalent to the Boy Scout Eagle Award.
For more information, please visit: www.girlscoutsrv.org or visit our Facebook page: Greater Mankato Area Girl Scouts.
For the full calendar of events visit kiwanisholidaylights.com.