The 32nd annual Lighting Festival in the Christmas Card Village of Taylors Falls took place the weekend of November 25-27. The turn out for this year’s activities was outstanding and we want to thank all who attended. This festival has truly become part of holiday traditions for many families, locally and from a distance. The community-at-large committee: Mark Adams, Annie Bent, Holle Brian, Peggy Errede, Juli Hobson, Jason and Dee Dee Fredlund, Julie Hildebrand, Tana Havumaki, Kelly Jorgensen, Tim Lauer, Sheila Sandell, Linda Shober, Rich Smith, Bill and Barb Young, Molly Valentin, and Becca Zach planned the festival events and put hours of energy into setting it up, but it is always the cooperative effort of the committee, City of Taylors Falls, town businesses, organizations and all the volunteers who make the magic happen.

The financial support from local businesses is vital to the Lighting Festival and this year we would like to thank Xcel Energy, St. Croix Regional Medical Center, MidWestOne Bank, Eagle Valley Bank, Adium, High Test Travel, Linda Shober Design and Images, Re/Max Muske Community Support Foundation, WebPlus, Wild Mountain, Wild River Electric, Buchite & Associates, McLane Accounting & Tax Service, Inc., Bernick’s, Bitworks, Coffee Talk, Country Bed and Breakfast, Croix Management, High Woods Bed & Breakfast, Lorie’s Hair Care, Old Jail B & B, Rocky River Bakery, Rowe Sewer Service, Taylors Falls Bead Store, Taylors Falls Dental Clinic, The Copy Shop, The Cottage B & B, The Drive-in Restaurant.

We would like to thank Sheila Sandell who is the 2016 Royal Lady of the Village; the TF Volunteer Firemen for decorating the 30 lamp posts; Seth Matters for opening his home for people to enjoy, the volunteers who acted as host and Holle Brian for condensing the history on the house; Christmas at the 1855 Folsom historic site chaired by Chad Thurman, decorated by organizations and businesses, and the house hosts; Sheila Sandell, the other third grade teachers, and the third graders for their wonderful tree themed exhibit; Pleasant Valley Cloggers; the Happy Hands Puppeteers for the Saturday puppet show; everyone who participated in the Advent Choral Vespers: choral director JoAnn Nielsen, pianist Pat Remer, Don and Julie Karsky, the community chorus and representatives from the area churches who read scripture; Joyce Staley for organizing the Holiday at the Depot Arts & Craft Sale; Mary Murphy for organizing the Wassail Party Craft Fair; the Taylors Falls Historical Society for holding their Christmas Thrift Sale; First Lutheran Church for their Faith Jar craft project; Don Hansen for opening his Sugar Shack to the public; the St. Croix Valley Orchestra for their wonderful performance; the United Methodist Church Outreach committee for the SERRV International Gift Sale and Green Fire Irish Dancers for performing.

Thanks also to Mike Kris of the Public Works Department for putting up No Parking signs and being of great help in so many ways; Sergeant Shane Carroll, Sheriff Rick Duncan and other members of the Chisago County Sheriff’s Department for vehicle redirection and safety during the Friday parade along with the Taylors Falls CERT team and Lions; to John Coffey from Coffee Talk and Rich Smith for turning on the Christmas Lights; Dee Dee Fredlund for being the parade organizers, and all the parade participants with so many lighted units; Bill Young’s emceeing of the parade; Santa and elves, Mrs Claus, the Public Library; Tim Tougas for driving the tractor drawn wagon rides.

Thank you to John Laier for allowing Santaland in his building. Thank you to Kids Call This a Party for face painting and balloon animals and Jim Schoony for providing the space; to Mary Murphy and Tana Havumaki for writing clues for the fourth Medallion Hunt. 300 luminaries were placed along Bench Street and lit by Peggy Errede, Rich Smith, Holle Brian, Terry, Julie and Avery Hildebrand, Michael and Tara Bent. Bingo was run by Jason and Dee Fredlund and their efficient team. We thank Linda Shober for her graphic designs; flyer assistance from Holle Brian; the many area newspapers for publishing articles and the reporters who wrote about the Royal Ladies. We would also like to acknowledge and thank the generous support from the City of Taylors Falls. Please forgive us if we have not mentioned you by name. We thank every person who helped make the festival a success.