2022 Kiwanis Holiday Lights event raised $77K for area non-profits

More than 175,000 people attended Kiwanis Holiday Lights at Mankato’s Sibley Park and $77,000 was raised for area non-profits. 

The funds will be split between the 67 organizations that assisted with set-up, tear-down, and volunteered throughout the event. The remaining proceeds will help offset expenses and improve the event in the future.

Organizers were pleased with the results, even as severe weather shut down the event twice. “Year 10 was very successful in our eyes, even with us having to close 2 nights because of weather,” said Scott Wojcik, Kiwanis Holiday Lights President. “The generosity of the visitors to Kiwanis Holiday Lights never ceases to amaze us,” Wojcik added.

Non-profit groups provided 14,400 volunteer hours from 2,600 volunteers. Funds will be dispersed to the non-profit participants based on a formula that includes volunteer assistance with set-up, tear-down, and nightly operations. Participating non-profit groups also received a tree that they could decorate along the walking path.

Organizers say eight tons of food was collected for the 16 area food shelves.  The event is completely volunteer-driven, with all set-up completed over ten days during the five weekends prior to opening. Tear-down took three days in January to complete.

Here are some other fun stats from the 2022 Kiwanis Holiday Lights:

•  Over 3,000 children visited Santa, and each received a free Kiwanis Holiday Lights Coloring Poster.
•  54 Greater Mankato businesses participated as cash sponsors, showing continued support for the annual event.
•  8 tons of food was collected for sixteen area food shelves.
•  The winner of the float contest in the opening night parade was Kato Moving & Storage.
•  Over 1.8 million energy-efficient LED lights glowed brightly throughout the event.
•  31 area restaurants donated food to help feed the volunteers during the event, as well as during set-up and tear-down.
•  The opening parade and lighting ceremony for the 2023 Kiwanis Holiday Lights season is already set for November 24.

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