Volunteers with a Passion for Improving St. Paul Will Help Set up Minnesota’s Largest Nightly Holiday Lights Display at Phalen Park

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Media invited Nov. 19 & 20 to see what it takes to create Holiday Lights in the Park

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Our volunteers make this happen.

The Saint Paul Police Foundation announced today that the media is invited on Thursday, Nov. 19 and Friday, Nov. 20 to see first-hand what it takes to set up approximately 60 holiday-themed displays for Holiday Lights in the Park at St. Paul’s Phalen Park.

Holiday Lights in the Park, the Midwest’s largest outdoor holiday light display will illuminate St. Paul’s Phalen Park for an eighth straight year. The lights are set to go on Tuesday, November 24 and brighten the season until January 1, 2016.

For 39 evenings Phalen Park will be lit up with a wide variety of holiday-themed displays. Visitors tour the displays in the warm confines of their vehicle, making weather a non-factor. More than 20,000 cars have visited Holiday Lights in the Park in each of its seven previous seasons making it the area’s largest nightly holiday celebration.

Before the public begins driving through the park on a nightly basis, it takes many volunteers and countless hours to set up the five dozen displays that decorate the park.

“It’s definitely a labor of love and a way to give back to our great city,” said Kevin Moore, Holiday Lights in the Park Co-Coordinator. “This event doesn’t happen without the dedication of volunteers from all over the city who simply want to make the city a better place.”

Among those volunteers are members from the St Paul Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) who provide electrical expertise in setting up the nearly two million individual lights that make up the display. In addition, volunteers from the Safe Summer Nights Program and West Seventh Street Boys Club will also lend a helping hand.

“Our volunteers make this happen. Can you imagine what it would cost to pay to have this set up?” asked Moore, who is a retired member of the St. Paul Police department. “These folks found success coming from St. Paul and they now want to give back to ensure kids growing up today get the same chances they did.”

At the heart of Holiday Lights is its philanthropy. The Saint Paul Police Foundation raises funds at the event to make the St. Paul area safer for citizens and law enforcement officials.

“An event like Holiday Lights in the Park provides us with an opportunity to step up and support the St. Paul Police Department with enhancements in training and safety,” said Nancy Haas, Chair of the Saint Paul Police Foundation Board. “Our ultimate goal is to build a strong relationship between the community and the police department.”

In the past seven years, Holiday Lights has raised nearly $400,000 for a variety of St. Paul and East Metro nonprofits. This year, proceeds from the event will go to support the work of the Saint Paul Police Foundation and the Union Gospel Mission Child Development Center. Since its inception in 2005, the Foundation has raised nearly $5 million to help support numerous SPPD initiatives including providing lifesaving equipment, Shop with Cops, the Safe City Camera program, Cops and Kids program and a variety of resources for crime victims.

Holiday Lights will open a half hour earlier this season at 5 p.m. to allow even more visitors to see the impressive displays. In addition, guests can purchase tickets online this year at a $2 discount from the $10 per vehicle charge at Phalen Park.

2015 Holiday Lights in the Park Set-up at a glance:
What: More than 60 holiday-themed light displays located on a driving path
When: Thursday, Nov. 19 and Friday, Nov. 20
Where: Phalen Park, 1615 Phalen Drive East, in St. Paul
Who: Saint Paul Police Foundation, along with volunteers from the St. Paul Police Department and NECA.

About Holiday Lights:
Holiday Lights in the Park is a venture of the Saint Paul Police Foundation with the sole purpose of creating a fun and affordable holiday event that raises funds to help protect the men and women who protect the residents of St. Paul. All of the net proceeds of the event will be distributed through the Saint Paul Police foundation to the St. Paul Police Department to provide enhanced safety and training to officers and help fund the department’s many volunteer organizations. Holiday Lights in the Park is open nightly from November 24-January 1, 2016 at St. Paul’s Phalen Park. To purchase tickets you can visit our website: http://www.saintpaulpolicefoundation.com/, or for more information you can find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stpaulpolicefoundation or follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/StPaulPoliceFdn. An event like this couldn’t happen without the dedication of numerous volunteers, including the department’s Reserve Unit, Explorer Program, Historical Society, Band and the Mounted and Motors Units. Volunteers from the St Paul Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) the SPPD Reserves and Explorers and Police Officers will be on hand each night to make sure the event runs smoothly.

Contacts:

Robb Leer, media liaison Holiday Lights in the Park
612.701.0608 Robbl(at)leercommunication(dot)com

Susan Jones, retired Saint Paul Police Officer – event co-coordinator
651.387.3451 holidaylights(at)saintpaulpolicefoundation(dot)com
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Robb Leer