Nisswa’s 32nd annual City of Lights Festival welcomes the holiday season with a countdown to lighting up the town that culminates with a fireworks display and live music Friday, Nov. 29.
The downtown area lights up all at once at 5:30 p.m., with holiday lights adorning trees and fences, stores and other buildings.
Festivities for the annual event begin in the afternoon with horse-drawn wagon rides, storytelling, food merchants, bonfires, hot cider and doughnut holes at the Pioneer Village and holiday carolers.
After the countdown to turning on all the lights, Santa Claus makes an appearance and fireworks shoot up over town at 7:30 p.m.
Following is a schedule of events:
2-5 p.m.: Public restrooms/Welcome Center open house.
2-7:30 p.m.: Eats and treats around town.
2-3:30 p.m.: Write a letter to Santa and do kids Christmas crafts at the Nisswa Chamber office.
2:30-7 p.m.: Horse-drawn wagon rides in Nisswa Square.
3:45 p.m.: “Polar Express” storytelling at the Caboose on Main Street (limited seating).
3:30-6:30 p.m.: Live reindeer in the BlackRidge Bank parking lot.
4-7 p.m.: Strolling carolers throughout downtown.
4-5:45 p.m.: See Santa Claus at Nisswa Square.
4 p.m.: Ceremony for grand opening of public restrooms/Welcome Center building
4 p.m.: Storytelling with author Alice Palace, Turtle Town Books & Gifts.
4:15 p.m.: "Polar Express" storytelling at the Caboose on Main Street (limited seating).
4:30 p.m.: Lighting of the bonfires near the gazebo.
4:30 p.m.: Central Lakes College Brass Ensemble performs at Nisswa Square.
4:45 p.m.: Free hot cider and doughnut holes at the Pioneer Village.
4:45 p.m.: “Polar Express” storytelling at the Caboose on Main Street (limited seating).
4:45-7 p.m.: Kids crafts with the Black Bear 4-H Club at the Pioneer Village.
5 p.m.: Lighting of the Luminaries at the Pioneer Village.
5:30-6 p.m.: Holiday carolers at the gazebo on Main Street.
5-7 p.m.: Live Nativity scene provided by the Lake Country Parish youth at the Pioneer Village.
5-7 p.m.: Live music at the Journey Church.
5:29 p.m.: Countdown to the lighting of Nisswa.
5:30 p.m.: Light up the town.
5:35 p.m.: Love Lights A Tree ceremony with Good Samaritan Communities at the Pioneer Village.
6 p.m.: Carolers perform at the gazebo and Santa arrives.
7:30 p.m.: Fireworks from the Nisswa Community Center.
8-11:59 p.m.: Live music by The Attic at the Nisswa American Legion.
8-11:59 p.m.: Live music by Whiskey Richards at the tent at the Pickle Factory.