Donations. Holiday celebration. Light. In a brainstorming session six years ago, members of Woodbury’s King of Kings Lutheran Church searched for an event to which they could donate, celebrate the Christmas season and bring light to those on the east side of St. Paul. They settled on a light show, done to the nines, in Phalen Park. “We wanted to bring light to that neighborhood,” Holiday Lights in the Park co-chair Lisa Engh says.
Church members collaborated with the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers (IBEW) to plan a display in the sea of light. This year, the show displays 60 light sculptures and animated light displays, the most ever, and ends in grand finale flare with Noah’s Wild Ark, a colorful display of animals and animation. The all-volunteer run event involves approximately 300 King of Kings volunteers who work the night shifts to greet and sell tickets to visitors.
The event has raised a total of $250,000 and all proceeds benefit the event’s charity partners including Second Harvest Heartland, Union Gospel Mission, St. Paul Parks Conservancy and UnderConstruction; new this year is the St. Paul Police Foundation. Minnesota-based musicians also contribute their musical talents in a holiday concert and CD which can be found at Kowalski’s Market.
This year marks the last year that Kings of Kings will host the light show; Engh and marketing coordinator Jane Halbert say they have enjoyed every minute. “It’s been a neat thing to see that Christmas cheer throughout the Twin Cities,” Engh says.
Holiday Lights in the Park
November 26-January 1
5:30-10 p.m. nightly
$10 per vehicle
1600 Phalen Drive East, St. Paul