Sleepy Eye’s Holiday Lights In Motion get underway

Volunteers, donations sought

Staff photos by Fritz Busch More than 350,000 lights are featured 5 to 10 p.m. nightly through December at the Sleepy Eye Holiday Lights In Motion in Sportsman’s Park.

SLEEPY EYE — A festive crowd visited Sportsman’s Park Saturday night for the Sleepy Eye Holiday Lights In Motion Light the Night event.

Horse-drawn carriage rides and a freewill concession stand with popcorn, hot cider plus more than 350,000 lights comprised the event that will continue 5 to 10 p.m. Dec. 3, 4, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 26, and 31.

A live nativity is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 12. Meanwhile, the lights and radio music are open to the public 5 to 10 p.m. nightly through December.

Kids are invited to drop letter to Santa in the Northpole mailbox on the park route cul-de-sac.

Tax-deductible donations are accepted at the on site donation box.

Light the Night participants keep warm by a fire at Sportsman’s Park Saturday.

In addition, individuals and organizations are needed to help build, assemble, and dismantle displays each season and as fundraising event workers.

Other needs are ride helpers, tractor drivers, donation box attendants, traffic control volunteers and Committee members are needed to help plan, organize, fundraise and build displays.

Initiated in 2014 at Sportsman’s Park, just north of Sleepy Eye on TH 4, the display began with five figures donated by Bob Schabert of Courtland.

In 2015, displays grew with a Santa Ski Slope donated by Schabert, lights in trees animated to Christmas music, a 33-foot “dancing” Christmas tree, decorated cabins and trolley rides.

Schabert donated another large display and the park cul-de-sac drive was lighted, and a concession stand and camp fires were added.

Horse-drawn carriage rides were popular at the Sleepy Eye Holiday Lights In Motion Light the Night event at Sportsman’s Park on Sleepy Eye Lake Saturday.

The display grew to 150,000 lights in 2017 including 70 lighted trees and a lighted American flag.

Eighty-five trees were lit and 200,000 park lights were part of the 2018 display.

Displays added in 2019 included cutout displays for photo opportunities.

A new park shelter was decorated in 2020.

Visitors can walk or drive through the park. Lights can be viewed from the parking lot or by parking on the south shore of the lake for a view across the water.

Viewers are invited to tune their FM radio dial to 89.1 prior to entering the park to enhance the drive-through experience.

Horse-drawn carriage seats can be reserved on SignUpGenius.

Donations can be made on the Amazon Smile Program.

For more information, visit http://sleepyeyeholidaylights.org/

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


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