The Sportsmen’s Park light show in Sleepy Eye has been put away until next holiday season.

The Sportsmen’s Park light show in Sleepy Eye has been put away until next holiday season.


Several volunteers gathered Thursday to tear down the Holiday Lights in Motion display. The illuminated array of holiday displays ranged from the religious to the secular; a Santa scene and an elaborate Nativity panorama; even a waving snowman.


Shari Hittesdorf, co-founder of the holiday spectacle, said although the display is over for the year, the work is not.


“We definitely accomplished what we wanted to, which was to generate interest and hopefully the support will be there in the future,” Hittesdorf commented. “We are already looking at next year and setting priorities and financial goals.”


In addition, the displays will be worked on over the summer to make sure every light is working for next season, fundraising efforts will be ramped up, some of the displays for the Dick Ginn display will be worked on and more planning for the future will take place.


“Tentatively, next year's financial goal is somewhere in the neighborhood of $8,000 to expand like we want to,” Hittesdorf explained. “As a committee we’ve talked about different revenue sources and fundraisers so that it isn't just a park event, but a community event. The more people feel connected the better it will be.”


The financial goal this year was $6,000. Hittesdorf said they were $100 shy of meeting that goal.


“We are very grateful to the people who donated to us on blind faith. They didn't know what was going to happen and hopefully the outcome was what they expected. We are pleased with the outcome of the first year,” Hittesdorf added.


The committee had some help in their planning, namely from the Mankato Kiwanis who puts on a huge display in Sibley Park in Mankato. Hittesdorf said they were very helpful in getting the lights display off the ground.


“And Bob Schabert of Courtland has been a huge asset with his creativity and his energy and the donation of his displays,” Hittesdorf remarked. “We've been very fortunate. We wanted a unique display with animation and hopefully we can continue to expand in the future.”


Hittesdorf added that this is something Sleepy Eye can continue to look forward to each holiday season with the goal to expand and grow each year.


She expressed her gratitude to everyone who helped make this year a success.


“A lot of hours went into making this display and the cooperation made it possible for us to get it done. We are thankful for every little bit that was given to get this display on its feet.”