This Friday marks the beginning of the Kiwanis Holiday Lights display at Sibley Park in Mankato. Festivities start at 5:00 PM with an opening parade at 6:00 PM. Santa will turn the lights on following the parade.
This will be the first in what hopefully becomes a long standing tradition. Kiwanis members were inspired by other displays in other communities and thought it would be great to bring it to Mankato. Shannon Gullickson, the Marketing Co–Chair for the Kiwanis Holiday Lights, says, "We're really looking forward to the event. The park is completely decorated now."
Over 1,000 volunteers have helped design, build, and set up the holiday displays. In all, over one million lights will be used. The lights are the new LED type of lights, which are brighter and more efficient. Gullickson says that the cost to illuminate all those lights is under $50 a night.
To reduce congestion, "The night of the parade we encourage people to park on the neighboring streets to Sibley Park and also the parking lot in Sibley Park near the ball fields and the sledding hill and also the CHS parking lot along Woodland Ave. And then there will be handicapped parking available closer to the lighting event," Gullickson says.
After the ceremony, the lights will be on from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM Sunday through Thursday and 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM Friday and Saturday until December 31st. It is free to see, but donations are encouraged.