Kiwanis Holiday Lights returns to Sibley Park

Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 10:23 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 26, 2021 at 10:24 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The pandemic dimmed the lights lasts year on a Mankato holiday tradition, but the lights are now plugged in at Sibley Park after 696 days.

Kiwanis Holiday Lights held their kick-off parade and lighting ceremony Friday evening, where Santa Claus helped flipped the switch to turn on 1.8 million lights.

People of all ages were excited to be back.

“I’m most looking forward to seeing all the lights because it’s really pretty once it turns on,” said Violett Kolbinger.

“It’s a very fun thing to get to do and I think it’s very cool that it gets to be here in Mankato so that we can see it every year,” added Madilyn Nistler.

Kiwanis Holiday Lights President Scott Wojcik described the energy as electric.

“Everyone is just super excited to be here. All of our rangers that have been doing all the work tonight to get ready for this, you can see we’re finally, we’re at that point where let’s get going let’s turn the lights on,” he said.

The parade had a record 32 floats this year.

This year’s winning title went to the Mankato Figure Skating Club’s Charlie Brown-themed float.

“We were actually in the car, and my daughter had said what if we did a scene from the Charlie Brown movie where they’re skating. I thought that’s a great idea. We chatted with some of the other people who are participating. We said what do you think? They liked it and we went with it,” said Natalie Casper with the organization.

An estimated 150,000 to 175,000 people are expected to come through Sibley Park this year to see all of the lights.

Attendees can also enjoy ice skating, weekend visits with Santa and live reindeer.

Admission is free for all vehicles and walkers. Food and cash donations are also accepted.

The display is open until Dec. 31.

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