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"Holiday Lights in the Park" fundraiser returns Nov. 24

More than 40,000 visitors toured through the holiday lights scenes around Lake Phalen at last year's "Holiday Light in the Park" event, which was founded by King of Kings Lutheran Church in Woodbury. File photo.

The Holiday Lights in the Park is back for its second year in Saint Paul's Phalen Park, opening Nov. 24 and continuing through Dec. 31. Last year's new annual holiday light display attracted more than 40,000 visitors in its first year, raising more than $50,000 for local charities.

"The holiday light show cheered so many families from around the region last year, and its mission to raise funds for local charities brings to life the meaning of the season, said St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman in a press release for the event, which was founded last year by the local chapter of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and King of Kings Lutheran Church in Woodbury.

IBEW and King of Kings Church in Woodbury are partnering organize and construct the life-size lighted holiday scene displays. Several of the scenes along the half-mile tour will be animated. The drive is bordered by Lake Phalen and Phalen Golf Course.

The event will be open seven days a week. Daily tours are from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sightseers will pay a vehicle entrance fee of $8 Sundays - Thursdays and $10 on Fridays, Saturdays and holidays.

In addition to the light displays at Phalen Park, the Holiday Lights event is introducing a musical element this year. Fifteen of Minnesota's finest musicians have come together to create a fresh new holiday CD of original mixes to celebrate the season and to help raise funds for Holiday Lights. The CD titled "Home For The Holidays: A Minnesota Christmas" will be on sale for $10 at Phalen Park during the IBEW Holiday Lights in the Park event, in Twin Cities' Target Stores and at other IBEW Holiday Lights events.

Musicians for "Home for the Holidays: A Minnesota Christmas" include Minnesota mainstay musicians Tim Mahoney and GB Leighton and up and coming artists Matthew Griswold and Phil Thompson, both from Woodbury.