8th annual Kiwanis Lights set to dazzle Mankato

Madison Diemert
Editor in Chief

If you’re looking for a new tradition to celebrate during the holidays, Mankato’s Sibley Park has exactly what you need—and it’s all free.

The Kiwanis Holiday Lights are returning for their eighth year with new displays, live ice sculpting and the #OnlyinMN monument to be featured. It doesn’t stop there, though. Kiwanis will include their 60-foot center tree, which has 2,1000 white strobe lights, displays honoring veterans who have served and are serving the U.S., visits with Santa Clause, live reindeer, wagon rides and many, many options for snapping some Facebook and Instagram-worthy pictures. The Kiwanis Holiday Lights will kick-off Nov. 29 and go through Dec. 31.

To start off the opening day there will be a parade beginning at 6 p.m. along Mound Ave. that the Girl Scouts Mankato Area Service Unit will be presenting. At the end of the parade, Kiwanis will have a Santa Clause who will finish off the parade with plugging in the spectacular lights. Regular hours of operation are 5-9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 5-10 p.m. Friday through Saturday.

Visitors can walk as well as drive, (though for safety reasons, the park will allow driving traffic at 8 p.m.), and there are concession stands and warming houses along the way. Buying food and drink from the concessions stands are one way you can support Kiwanis, as well as direct cash donations. The horse-drawn carriage rides cost $5 as well, and for the first time ever there will be a “Text to Donate” feature.

There is also an option to donate non-perishable items for the 19 area food shelves to support the Mankato community. The Kiwanis Holiday Lights allow you to celebrate the holidays in a new and fun way, especially if you can’t make it to larger events, like Duluth’s Bentleyville Tour of Lights. Participating in a local light show like Kiwanis helps support the community of Mankato and creates a sense of togetherness that we would otherwise not have without similar events.

For more information, you can visit www.kiwanisholidaylights.com, or call the Kiwanis Holiday Lights information line at 507-385-9129.

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