Ice Carving Contest to be held this Friday and Saturday at Kiwanis Holiday Lights

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For the first time Kiwanis Holiday Lights will feature an ice carving contest, with a $500 prize to go to the creators of the People’s Choice sculpture. The event will be held in the farm area at Sibley Park on Friday, December 15 and Saturday, December 16. Each evening four sculptors will create holiday-themed designs that will be lighted after completion. Observers can text their vote for their favorite design: Snoopy, a Fireplace, the Grinch and an Angel. Live updates of voting will be posted on Kiwanis Holiday Lights’ Twitter account (@kiwanislights) and Facebook page. Carving should be complete by 9 p.m. on Saturday, at which time the award will be presented.

“We’ve had live ice sculpting in the park during the last two years and it’s been really popular,” said Scott Wojcik, Kiwanis Holiday Lights President. “This year we thought it would be fun to host a competition and allow visitors to vote for the winning sculpture.”

Visitors may remember the “Old Man Winter” sculpture in 2015 and “The Sibley Park Ice Dragon” in 2016.

Photos of previous sculptors as well as depictions of the four sculptures that will be created this weekend are attached.

Sixth Annual Kiwanis Holiday Lights Parade to be held Friday, November 24

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Kiwanis Holiday Lights will kick-off this Friday, November 24 at 6 p.m. with a holiday parade presented by the Mankato Area Derby Girls. The parade will begin at the intersection of Rogers and Mound Ave., and will proceed into the park and will end near the concessions area/warming house inside of the park. Spectators are encouraged to arrive early, dress warmly and bring chairs and blankets. All parade entries will be lighted and represent the sponsors and nonprofit groups that provide funding and volunteers for the event. Santa will wrap up the parade and flip the switch to turn on Kiwanis Holiday Lights for a spectacular finish. A parade map and parking information can be found at www.kiwanisholidaylights.com.

The sixth Annual Kiwanis Holiday Lights will be held November 24 to December 31, 2017 in Mankato’s Sibley Park. Hours of operation are Sunday-Thursday, 5 – 9 p.m., Friday & Saturday, 5-10 p.m. (For safety reasons, the park will open to driving traffic at 8 p.m. on opening night).

Kiwanis Holiday Lights is presented by the Mankato Area Foundation and CHS. The event is free and open to the public, however cash donations will be collected to support the event and its nonprofit volunteers, as well as non-perishable items for the 16 area food shelves that will be participating during the event. Guests can drive or walk through the lights display, and warming houses and concessions will be available each evening. More information and a nightly calendar of events can be found at www.kiwanisholidaylights.com.

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Kiwanis Holiday Lights was established in 2012 by members of the Mankato Downtown Kiwanis Club. The Kiwanis Holiday Lights mission is “Create a celebration of Holiday Lights for the Greater Mankato Area that builds on past traditions and promotes the communities we serve, while raising non-perishable food donations for those in need.” The free event is held each year in Sibley Park in Mankato, MN. Cash and food donations are accepted each night.

Kiwanis Holiday Lights to Feature a Live Ice Sculpting Event Not to be Missed!

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Live ice sculpting will be featured as Kiwanis Holiday Lights’ newest attraction next week in Mankato’s Sibley Park. Adam Scholljegerdes and Joe Christenson, who have created winning sculptures at the St. Paul Winter Carnival, Waseca’s Sleigh and Cutter Days and other area contests, have been engaged to create a lighted 7’x30’ “Old Man Winter” sculpture in the farm area at Sibley Park.

“Our goal is to grow Kiwanis Holiday Lights each year, which not only means adding more lights, but also adding new and unique experiences and events,” said Scott Wojcik, President of Kiwanis Holiday Lights. “The opportunity arose for us to partner with the Twin Rivers Council for the Arts in adding an artistic element to Kiwanis Holiday Lights and we were also fortunate for the additional corporate support we’ve received from CHS in making the sculpting event possible.”

This new addition to Kiwanis Holiday Lights is presented by CHS, with additional support from the Twin Rivers Council for the Arts and KMSU Radio, through funding from the Minnesota State Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund, as appropriated by the Minnesota legislature.

“CHS is pleased to extend its ongoing sponsorship of the Kiwanis Holiday Lights display to this newest attraction, which is sure to delight visitors from across the region,” says Jim Graham, CHS plant manager, Mankato, Minn. “We’re proud of our commitment to partnering with civic leaders like the Kiwanis to help build vibrant communities and to be a committed steward in every community in which we do business through safe and sustainable operations, alongside contributions of our time and resources. ”

Scholljegerdes and Christenson will work on the sculpture each evening starting Thursday, December 17 through Saturday, December 19. The completed ice sculpture will be on display until Dec. 31, weather permitting.