The turn out for this year’s 29th Lighting Festival 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, Diane Arnold, Carol Collins, Julie Hildebrand, Larry and Deb Julik-Heine, Mary Jo Murphy, Tana Havumaki, Dr. Leo and Carol Nelson, Sheila Sandell, Linda Shober and Dr. Bill and Barb Young, 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.
We would like to thank Sandra Berg who was the 2013 Royal Lady of the Village; the TF Volunteer Firemen for decorating the 30 lamp posts; Mary Pettis for opening her studio for people to enjoy and the volunteers who acted as host; Christmas at the 1855 Folsom historic site chaired by Alyssa Auten, decorated by organizations and businesses, and the house hosts; Clarence, Karen and Geri Nelson for their outstanding dollhouse display and Sheila Sandell, the other third grade teachers, and the third graders for their village; to Alyssa and friends who arranged for the outdoor movie; River City Cloggers; Jim Walker and Marilyn Mays for their delightful production of “A Christmas Quilt”; everyone who participated in the Advent Choral Vespers: choral director Marty Harding, pianist Pat Remer, the community chorus and representatives from the area churches who read scripture; Joyce Staley for organizing Holiday at the Depot Arts & Craft Sale; Carol Nelson and the First Lutheran Church for hosting the craft fair and miniature display; the Taylors Falls Historical Society for their exhibit, the United Methodist Church Outreach committee for the SERRV International Gift Sale; and the St. Croix Unitarian Universalist Fellowship for running our first coat drive.
Thanks also to Mike Kris, 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; to John Coffey from Coffee Talk for turning on the Christmas Lights and arranging for the outdoor lights judging; to Interstate Park for permission to park without a permit in Minnesota Interstate State Park parking lot; TF Lions for being the parade starters and to the Lions and CERT for providing pedestrian safety at the parade; Deb Julik-Heine the parade organizer, 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; Jim Albee for his horse and wagon rides both Friday night and Saturday and Chad Thurman for providing history of Angel Hill to the passengers; Pleasant Valley Cloggers; and First Evangelical Lutheran Youth Group for goodies at Santaland.
Thanks too, to St. Croix Valley Brass for entertaining at Santaland; to Wade and Carol Vitalis for allowing Santaland in their building; face painting by Darlene and Ben Romportl at Schoony’s and to Mary Murphy and Tana Havumaki for writing clues for the second Medallion Hunt. Over 300 luminaries were assembled, placed and lighted by Diane Arnold and her committee along both sides of Bench Street and from MN Interstate State Park into town using the underpass; bingo was run by Diane Arnold and her efficient committee, caller Jen Guilfoile and many businesses that donated door prizes; and to all in the community who did residential and commercial outdoor lighting.
We thank Linda Shober for her graphic designs; Monica Zachay for handcrafting this years ornament; the many area newspapers for publishing articles and the reporters who wrote about the Royal Ladies; the generous local Taylors Falls business sponsors and the overall financial sponsors of the weekend event; to Tangled up in Blue and Wild Mountain Winery for hosting a wine tasting benefit for the Lighting Festival, and to St. Croix Valley Orchestra under the direction of Randolf Elliott for a beautiful Winter Concert.
Please forgive us if we have not mentioned you by name. We thank every person who helped make the festival a success. It cannot be done without the help of MANY elves. It is our hope that each family that attended the Lighting Festival left with great memories, pictures and the start of a new holiday tradition.
The Lighting Festival in the Christmas card village of Taylors Falls has become the largest winter holiday festival in our area, one filled with magic and fun for the whole family. It cannot be done without our financial sponsors; we would like to recognize the following organizations, businesses and individuals who make this festival possible.
City of Taylors Falls, Central Bank, St. Croix Regional Medical Center, Eagle Valley Bank, Xcel Energy, Wild Mountain Ski Area, Royal Credit Union, AB Closings & Financial Services, Angel Hill Apartments, The Bitworks, The Border Bar, Buchite & Associates, Coffee Talk, The Copy Shop, The Cottage Bed and Breakfast, Country Bed & Breakfast, Croix Management, Highwoods B&B, Keller Williams Realty, Linda Shober Designs and Images. Lories Hair Care, McLane Accounting Services, Muske Company Foundation, Old Jail Bed & Breakfast, Rocky River Bakery, Rowe Sewer Service, The She Shop, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Tangled up in Blue, Taylors Falls Bead Store, Taylors Falls Dental Clinic, Taylors Falls Family Chiropractic, Wild River Contracting, Wild River Electric, The Yarn Bank