Shining Bright: Manhattan’s Festival of Lights rolls on in 2020

Local News

MANHATTAN, Kan (KSNT) – There might not be as much gathering this holiday season, but in Manhattan, a tradition that shines bright is rolling on.

“Well we want them to get out of the house if nothing else to, you know, enjoy that tradition they’ve had for the past seven years,” said Belinda Snyder, a Whoville INC organizer.

The Festival of Lights typically kicks off with a community gathering, but due to the coronavirus pandemic, organizers went virtual this year and still put together a light show for all ages.

“So we just started thinking, what can we do that still gives the community something to go down and see? And this is what we came up with,” said Joey Athon with Whoville INC.

The display located at Blue Earth Plaza in Manhattan has a giant LED Christmas tree and other lighted decorations that are in sync with music. Perfect to walk around with at a distance or to listen to from the inside of your car if you tune your radio to 88.1 FM.

“It is about a 10 month process to start organizing. If we need repairs or if we are going to add anything to it. This is the first year that we haven’t added some sort of a display,” Athon said. “[We] start talking to donors to make sure they’re still in for the year and where they are at, make sure that we have the funding because we are 100 percent  donation based.”

The organization Whoville INC. will also be putting on a “Curbside Wonderbag Carnival” Saturday, Dec. 5th, 1pm to 3 pm in front of the Hilton Garden Inn on 3rd street in Manhattan. You can visit the organizations website here and on Facebook.

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