Lighting up Kennedy

-Submitted photo
Volunteers with Fort Dodge Young Professionals helped set up some of the holiday light displays at John F. Kennedy Memorial Park recently in preparation for Lights at Kennedy.

Fort Dodge area families will once again have the opportunity to enjoy the sights and sounds of the holiday season with the 18th annual Lights at Kennedy light show, sponsored by Fort Dodge Noon Sertoma and Fort Dodge Young Professionals.

According to organizer Andy Reed, this is the largest number of light displays the event has had in recent years.

This year, there will be 32 different displays, including a 30-foot-tall 3D tree and several 10-, 15- and 20-foot-tall trees with lights coordinating to the music.

“Each of these features were custom built by YP, as well as all of the programming,” Reed said.

The entryway has more than 60 arches of lights, also coordinated to the music.

-Messenger file photo
Decker Truck Line’s display at John F. Kennedy Memorial Park earned first place in the 2020 Lights at Kennedy contest. More than 3,000 ballots were cast.

Santa will also be onsite each night of the lights, and will be following social distancing protocols.

The displays carry tens of thousands of individual lights to create the spectacular holiday show.

The drive-thru light show is choreographed to music and includes light displays sponsored by local businesses.

Admission to the Lights at Kennedy is a freewill donation, but suggested donation is $5 per vehicle. The Lights at Kennedy will be open from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 3-5, Dec. 10-12 and Dec. 17-19 at John F. Kennedy Memorial Park north of Fort Dodge.

All the proceeds from the event go back into the philanthropic work Noon Sertoma and Young Professionals do in Fort Dodge, like Backpack Buddies.

-Messenger file photo
A smiling snowman is part of the 2020 Lights at Kennedy display. Dozens of different setups were presented to the hundreds of people who drove their vehicles through John F. Kennedy Memorial Park.

Noon Sertoma and Young Professionals start preparing for the Lights at Kennedy in August, Reed said.

Last year, more than 4,200 vehicles went through the trail of lights, Reed said.

“It broke pretty much any record that we had before,” he said.

He hopes to see that record broken once again in 2021.

By the numbers

• 32 light displays

• 6,400 lights on the 30-foot Christmas tree

• 4,200 vehicles in 2020


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