By Jackson Forderer

With members from the first place float of Dance Express surrounding him, Santa flipped the switch and turned on 1.7 million lights in Sibley Park at the eighth annual Kiwanis Holiday Lights.

Shannon Gullickson Executive Committee Director for Kiwanis Holiday Lights, said it was the most ideal weather for a wintertime lighted parade, “The temperatures were perfect and we had snow on the ground.”

The second winter storm held off just long enough for the pedestrians to get a look at this year’s lights before cars were allowed through the park. Gullickson added that this year’s holiday lights will include an elf on the shelf that will be moving around the park each day. “That will be something for kids to keep an eye out for,” Gullickson said.

Sanara Sukalski, 7, said the parade was “a little great.” She and her brother Malaki, 9, had just seen Santa and asked for Minecraft Lego sets, stuffed animals, Barbies and a race track for their Hotwheels with a loop.

James Danks attended the parade for the first time with his wife Rachel and son Jameson, 4. The couple from Mankato confessed that Jameson didn’t know there was candy to be had at the parade and he only got a toothbrush. When asked what he thought about the lights, Jameson said that all the lights are from Santa.

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