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Weekend volunteers, fire wood needed

Photo courtesy Sleepy Eye Holiday Lights Volunteers are sought for Sleepy Eye Holiday Lights In Motion setup. Donated fire wood for burn pits is also sought. Sleepy Eye Holiday Lights In Motion will be opened 5 to 10 p.m. nightly, Thanksgiving through New Year’s.

SLEEPY EYE — Christmas lights lovers should be happy to know that Sleepy Eye Holiday Lights In Motion continues this year in Sportsmans Park on the north shore of Sleepy Eye Lake.

Showtime is 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. nightly from Thanksgiving through New Year’s. Free hay wagon rides sponsored by local businesses and other entities are scheduled for weekends beginning Friday, Dec. 4.

Meanwhile, volunteers are needed for setup from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. In addition, the organization is in need of wood to be burned in fire pits.

Masks are required for all volunteers and visitors. They are encouraged to dial to 89.1 FM prior to entering the park to enhance the drive-through experience.

Holiday Lights in Motion began in 2014 with five holiday light displays donated by Bob Schabert of Courtland.

Schabert’s santa ski slope display was added in 2015, along with tree lights animated to Christmas music, a 33 feet high “dancing” Christmas tree, decorated cabins and trolley rides.

In 2016, Schabert donated another large display, the driving-through path was lighted and a community concession stand, campfire and evening trolley rides were added.

A total of 150,000 lights and 70 lighted trees and a U.S. flag were added in 2017.

Lights hit the 200,000 mark, including 90 lighted trees and hay rides were added in 2018.

Last year, 90 lighted trees and 250,000 lights were part of the event. A new cutout display for photos and a red wagon were added.

This year, more lighted trees were added to the entrance area.

“We will be challenged with the COVID-19 pandemic this season, be have a very detailed safety plan to accommodate volunteers and visitors for our special event nights. A new park shelter will be used this year as well,” reads the holiday lights website.

All displays and trees have energy efficient LED lights.

Visitors can walk or drive through the exhibits.

“We believe this project will grow into a tradition in which local folks and people from around the region will come to visit as a place for families during the holiday season,” reads the holiday lights website. It is a non-profit organization.

Tax-deductible donations are sought to purchase needed supplies and lights to build for future displays.

The holiday lights website includes a drive through video of the event.

Visit sleepyeyeholidaylights.org for more information.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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