Taylors Falls Lighting Festival-2016
November 25, 26, 27
The Friday after Thanksgiving marks the day when the picturesque town of Taylors Falls, MN becomes a “Christmas Card Village” The Taylors Falls Lighting Festival 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. 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, several different displays, an ecumenical Choral Vesper Service, family Bingo, and a giant bonfire and snowman making.
Each year the Lighting Festival produces a limited edition ornament around the festival theme and is available for $12 at various downtown businesses.
This year's Taylors Falls Lighting Festival ornament is a real maple leaf preserved in 24k gold. In 1857, W.H.C. Folsom, and his wife Mary Jane, planted maple trees on Angel Hill. At least one still stands.
Our communities are also known for abundant maple trees with autumn foliage ranging from golden yellow to brilliant reds that attract many visitors every year. The $12 ornament is available at Coffee Talk, Taylors Falls Bead Store, PetroPlus, Barb’s Hair Care, The Yarn Bank and at various Lighting Festival events.
- The 1847 McKusick Holiday House is the first time this house has ever been open to the public. Did you know this house was originally from Stillwater, MN? Visit this beautiful historic home.
- Mrs. Claus is reading to the children at the library BEFORE the parade this year! Keep warm before the parade and enjoy the wonderful stories.
- The Pleasant Valley Cloggers will be starting their performance at 5:15.
- There will be a puppet show, Saturday, 1pm at the 1861 Methodist Church.
- Green Fire Irish Dancers will be performing at the community center, Sunday from 1-3pm. After their performance they will lead us in a ceili dance. Ceili dance is the Celtic version of a square dance and it’s a lot of fun!
- “A Laura Ingalls Wilder Christmas” will be performed by the Festival Theater.
Three fabulous and very different Craft Fairs are part of Taylors Falls Lighting Festival
- Friday, Nov. 25 1 – 8 PM Holiday at the Depot Art & Craft Sale, Memorial Community Center
- Saturday, Nov. 26 9AM-3PM Wassail Party Craft Fair, Memorial Community Center and across the street at the Town House School. Food available.
- Saturday, Nov. 26 10AM-7PM International Bazaar of Free Trade items, United Methodist Church. Food available.
A little more about our Two Craft Fairs and Bazaar
Two holiday fairs and a bazaar will take place in the Christmas Card
Village of Taylors Falls during the annual Lighting Festival, November 25 and
26. Each event is unique, and all will have wonderful gift and decorating
items. There is no admission to the fairs.
Holiday at the Depot Art and Artisan Fair offers fine gifts and art
including paintings, jewelry, pottery, basketry and much more. Located at the Old
Depot Memorial Community Center they will be open from 1-8 PM on Friday
November 25. Kettle Korn will be popping across the street next to the
display created by the third graders of the local elementary school.
The oldest of the fairs is the Wassail Party Craft Fair on Saturday, the
26th from 9 AM to 3 PM in two buildings, the Old Depot Memorial Community
Center and across the street in the 1852 Town House School. It features all
types of homemade crafts and gifts and will again serve Swedish foods
including Swedish egg coffee.
The annual International Bazaar of Free Trade items, Bake Sale and Lunch
will also be Saturday, November 26 from 10 AM-7 PM at the 1861 Methodist
Church basement. While at the church, adults and children alike will want to
see the free puppet performance upstairs at 1 PM and participate in the
Ecumenical Choral Vespers at 4:30 PM. The two Christmas Houses are within a
block from this church on Angel Hill.
Enjoy each of the many family friendly events during the three day
festival. For a complete listing go to: www.lightingfestival.com.
Don't miss the CHORAL VESPERS at the TAYLORS FALLS LIGHTING FESTIVAL
Choral Vespers will be held at 4:30 PM on Saturday, November 26 at Taylors Falls United Methodist Church. The public is invited to this ecumenical service. Vespers is not only a tradition in its 26th year, but is considered by many to be the centerpiece of the festival.
Come sing familiar carols and hear selections by a community-wide chorus under the direction of JoAnn Nielsen and accompanied by Pat Remer.
The Methodist Church is located at 290 W. Government Street next to the 1855 Folsom House Historic Site which is open for Christmas tours. The 1861 New England type church building, decorated for the Christmas season, makes a beautiful setting for this service. A free-will offering will be taken.
Before and following Vespers, shop downstairs at the International Bazaar of SERRV Free Trade items and baked goodies and enjoy a sloppy joe or hot dogs with your complimentary cup of coffee. Go to www.lightingfestival.com for the full 3-day festival schedule, or see below!
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Rivertown Holiday is in St. Croix Falls, WI December 3 from 11-4. There will be Music in downtown St. Croix Falls, and lots of local, festive shopping! For the latest updates, visit: The Rivertown Holiday Facebook Page