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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Mission Valley

The Mission Valley is officially aglow for the holidays with thousands of twinkling lights at the Ronan fairgrounds. 

This is the sophomore year for the annual Lights Under the Big Sky festival, which came to fruition as a way for communities to come together to celebrate the holiday season and as a place to create tradition and memories. 

“I think it has caught on,” said event manager Sjaan Vincent on Friday. “It has been pretty much a steady stream of guests all night.” 

 Volunteer Punk Kerr, who was stationed at the ticket booth, confirmed Vincent’s statement, “It’s been wonderful. We have had great crowds the last two nights. I think every year is going to get bigger and better.”

This season’s colorful light displays included inflatables, lighted wire sculptures, a sailboat and a decorated vintage truck, among many others. The lights were set on a well-lit half-mile trail that circled through a winter wonderland.

For this family-friendly winter event, hot chocolate booths and cozy fire pits were scattered throughout the venue creating warm places to gather with friends and family and provide a nice spot to stop if you happen to feel a chill from the winter air. 

Families and friends also had a chance to grab group photos in front of the many brightly decorated displays or they could stand behind a face cut out and snap a selfie as an elf or reindeer. 

In the “Reindeer Barn,” youngsters had a chance to participate in numerous fun games, activities and crafts. Some of the highlighted activities included face painting, cookie decorating and ornament making. Paige Rauch said visiting St. Nicholas was her favorite thing to do at the festival. The jolly saint was dressed in his usual red suit as he listened to children share their Christmas wishes.  

During the weekend, musicians Patricia Tavenner, Dolce Canto, Doug Rhuman, Cheryl and Del DesJarlais entertained guest. Festival-goers in the following weeks can look forward to being entertained by musicians Buck Morigeau, Mission Valley Children’s Choir, Dave Siegfried, Mennonite Choir, Mission Valley Ukulele Jam with special performances by Native Hoop Dancer Robert Parot and live nativity performances.

The Lights Under the Big Sky festival will remain shining only on weekends until Dec 22. Event schedules and more information can be found by visiting bigskylights.org or visiting www.facebook.com/MVLightsUnderTheBigSky.

 

 

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