The Holiday Lights in Motion display delighted a multitude of visitors again in its sixth season.

The Holiday Lights in Motion display delighted a multitude of visitors again in its sixth season. The HLM committee has every reason to be pleased with the results of their hard work and dedication to the project.

“Our dream when we first started was for families to make this a holiday tradition,” said committee co-chair, Shari Hittesdorf. “Many people shared with us that it has, in fact, become a part of their holiday activities.”

She said they also enjoyed hearing from local people who told them how proud they were of having the show in Sleepy Eye. Hittesdorf said they saw the distance people traveled to visit the park expand this year, with some coming from over an hour away.

Hittesdorf said approximately 11,700 vehicles drove through the display during the 40 nights of the event. This was an increase of 1,700 over 2017. “We did not keep track our first year, but in the past four seasons over 35,000 vehicles have passed through,” she said.

There were horse and carriage rides offered on three nights, with hay rides offered on two of those nights to accommodate the crowds. They also had hay rides on three additional nights. Hittesdorf said over 1,100 people took advantage of the rides. “This was first year for the hay rides — it was a big hit and will be offered in future,” she said.

On eight nights there was a free will concession stand in the park, hosted by various non-profit groups. Hittesdorf said the Sleepy Eye Servicemen’s Club donated $500 to pay for all the food served and in total nearly five times that amount was earned back by the groups through the freewill donations.

“Plus, well over 2,000 people enjoyed the atmosphere of these special events which included a bonfire, s'mores, popcorn, cookies, hot chocolate and apple cider,” Hittesdorf said. “Win, win, win for everyone!”

And, one more fun thing for kids—they helped deliver 113 letters to Santa via their North Pole Express Mailbox in the park.

“We saw a huge increase in volunteers this season, both with set up and take down, as well as helping during ride nights,” said Hittesdorf. “We are very grateful for all who helped make 2018 a great year. And, thanks to some great weather this past weekend, and a bunch of volunteers, we have completed the take down process.”

Holiday Lights in Motion was certainly a “win, win, win” for the community. Thanks you to the committee and volunteers!