The entrance to the Austin Festival of Lights, or Elves Village as it is called, last year at Jellystone Park off of Interstate 90. -- Herald file photo

Archived Story

Festival lights up for second year

Published 5:11am Thursday, November 22, 2012

The area’s about to get a little brighter.

The Festival of Lights will open at Jellystone Park campgrounds once again this Friday, and there’s even more to see this year.

The back half of the park will be opened and the light displays will be spread out, according to organizer Kiersten Hall.

“We’ve had a number of new displays this year,” she said.

Displays by The Hormel Institute and The Boys and Girls Club of Blooming Prairie will be ready to go Friday, and Hall said the Festival of Lights will donate money to 34 nonprofits in the area, including local food shelves and Rochester Paws and Claws Humane Society.

In addition, visitors can vote on the best light display of the year, and the winning display organizer will get a four-night stay at The Lodge on Otter Tail Lake near Battle Lake in northern Minnesota. Each vote will be entered into a drawing for a similar four-night stay at The Lodge.

Hall said there’s a few surprises in store for visitors this year, and there’s even a display with more than 4,000 lights.

The Festival of Lights will be open from 5 to 10 p.m. Nov. 23 through Dec. 30. The festival will run Thursday through Sunday from Nov. 23 to Dec. 19, and will run nightly from Dec. 20 to 30. One to seven visitors in a car will pay $15, or $10 with donations to local food shelves, and vehicles with eight or more visitors will pay $25, or $20 with donations. Hall said the Festival of Lights donated food to five area food shelves last year.

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