History of the Lighting Festival

The Lighting Festival in Taylors Falls, Minnesota began in 1985. The quaintness of the downtown, nestled between the Dalles of the scenic St. Croix River and a wooded hill, gives it a Christmas card quality, and just the right size for a winter festival. The Lighting Festival is held each Thanksgiving weekend when families are home for the beginning of the holiday season. Activities begin Friday during the day, but the official opening is the Friday, 6 PM grand lighting of main street and Santa Parade including floats, Arnold the large walking puppet, school children, music and more, with Santa arriving in the last unit of the 25 minute parade. The Royal Lady of the Village is announced at the parade.

Stores and restaurants are open, holiday booya served, Santa greets the children at Santaland and there are special activities for the children of face painting, balloon animal making, free tractor and horse drawn wagon rides for caroling and more. Families from near and far have made this weekend festival part of their holiday tradition.

The Friday, Saturday and Sunday Festival includes craft fairs, Christmas at the 1855 Folsom House Museum, a private historic home, a puppet show, an ecumenical Choral Vesper Service, family Bingo, Irish music and dancing and the St. Croix Valley Orchestra.

Each year the Lighting Festival produces a limited edition ornament around the festival theme and is available at various businesses and Lighting Festival events. Visit the ornament page for more information.