Festival of Light brings holiday spirit to St. Cloud

in Lifestyle by
Attendees of the Festival of Lights could listen to a local high school choir singing Christmas carols, stop and talk to a living nativity scene, talk to Santa and Mrs. Claus, pet Comet and Donner, or go for a ride on a horse drawn carriage around some neighborhoods to see even more Christmas lights. Photo by Grace Bugbee.
Attendees of the Festival of Lights could listen to a local high school choir singing Christmas carols, stop and talk to a living nativity scene, talk to Santa and Mrs. Claus, pet Comet and Donner, or go for a ride on a horse drawn carriage around some neighborhoods to see even more Christmas lights. Photo by Grace Bugbee.

The annual Festival of Light brought the holiday spirit in full swing. It took place in front of St. Cloud Hospital from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday.

The holiday season’s smells floated through the night air, with the sound of singing and children’s laughter. Children and their families were able to participate in many activities. The horse-drawn trolley rides seemed to be the most popular, with the waiting line stretching far down the sidewalk.

While in line, Santa and Mrs. Claus paid those waiting a visit, wishing them a joyful holiday season, taking time to take photos with families. On top of this, reindeer were on display that the children could pet.

Families were able to visit a living nativity, presented by The Messiah Lutheran Church of Sartell. In addition to these, the Tech High School Chamber Choir sang Christmas carols, starting off with “Carol of the Bells” and continued with other popular hits.

Cookies, hot chocolate and apple cider were available for those outside in the below-freezing temperature. Nonetheless, there was still a sizable turnout.

To top the evening off, there was one significant juncture some people had been waiting for since the festival’s beginning. This was the lighting up of the hospital. A young girl was called out of the crowd to do the honors of turning on these Christmas lights. After this, the festivities continued a while longer before the 27th Annual Festival of Lights came to an end.

This article was contributed by Jenna McCrea.