What to do in Kato this holiday season

This past Friday, Kiwanis Holiday Lights at Sibley Park finally lit up. The light show can be walked or driven though, and runs from now through Dec. 31. The lights are on for viewing from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. 

The lights sync up to radio stations 90.1 and 88.1. The show consists of 1.8 million LED lights. The light show also offers a Santa visit, a hot cocoa stand,  a skating rink, and other amenities. According to their website, the light show, “builds on past traditions and promotes the communities we serve.” 

The light show is a free event, but encourages cash and non-perishable food donations. All food will be brought to local shelters. According to their website, “Last year, 17 different food shelves collected nearly 14 tons of food, and the Kiwanis Holiday Lights donated over $50,000 to the local non-profit community thanks to these good-will donations.” The event runs off of volunteer work, and since its start in 2012, has had over 14,000 people volunteer and 108.7 tons of food collected. 

Mankato has plenty to offer for the Holidays in addition to the light show. Coming up on the fourth, Minnesota State University, Mankato is hosting a Maverick Holiday Carnival in the CSU Ballroom. On the same day, in North Mankato is the Bells on Belgrade on Belgrade Ave. including a Santa visit and goodie bags, caroling, face painting, horse-drawn trolley rides, and a parade that evening to wrap up the activities. 

As for seasonal shows, the Mankato Ballet Company will be performing “The Nutcracker”, from Dec. 9-12. After not performing last year due to COVID-19, the ballet is proud to offer something to the community this year. 

Furthermore, Mankato Playhouse will be presenting a showing of “Scrooge The Musical” from Dec. 3-19. According to their Facebook page, the musical will be using “unique music, dancing and humor. The show tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, who is visited by a series of ghosts, starting with his old business partner, Jacob Marley. The three spirits which follow, the Ghost of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet to Come, show Scrooge how his mean behavior affects those around him.” 

If you don’t celebrate Christmas, there are still several fun winter activities to entertain you. Mankato has several free ice rinks open to the public, and Mount Kato is always an option for winter sports. Their hills are perfect for skiing, snowboarding, and tubing. Mount Kato offers over nineteen trails and offers lessons. 

If participating in winter sports is too much effort, several MNSU sports will still be running over winter break, so you can watch instead! Games include men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s hockey, wrestling, and swimming. 

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