As the last bit of the Thanksgiving leftovers are consumed and the leaf garland and decorative squash are taken off the table, residents are preparing for the holidays by adorning their homes in faux snow, digging out decorations and stringing up light displays.
Most of the usual holiday festivities have been put on hold indefinitely due to the pandemic, but looking at lights is still an activity that can be done safely.
The Prior Lake and Savage Parks and Recreation Departments have teamed up to hold the Making Spirits Bright Holiday Light Tour throughout the month of December.
Until Dec. 13, residents can register their homes with the city to be included on a map which will be shared on the city websites on Dec. 15. Residents will then be able to use the map to take a tour of decorated homes throughout Prior Lake and Savage. Registered homes will be entered into a drawing for gift cards to local restaurants and businesses in Savage and Prior Lake on Dec. 28.
The City of Prior Lake usually holds holiday events like the Decembrrr Dazzle and in previous years held a Christmas light contest which allowed residents to submit their address or be nominated by neighbors for their light display.
“We couldn’t have our dazzle or some of our other holiday events this year because of COVID,” said Prior Lake Recreation Manager Angie Barstad. “We thought [the holiday light tour] would be a great way to have families drive around that way you don’t have to make an appointment and it doesn’t cost anything to do and you could just drive in a local community.”
As of Nov. 30, 31 homes were registered to be on the map and many more are expected, she said.
“You don’t have to have music and all the fanciness with it,” Barstad said.
Homes should simply have fun lights for families to look at as they drive by — a little something to “make their spirits bright.”
Only the addresses of residents will be included on the public map for viewing.
Barstad encouraged anyone interested to register their home as it’s a way to get involved in the community.
“I’ve noticed that several neighborhoods get together and several houses in a neighborhood will get together and do lights and things,” she said. “It’s a way to say ‘hey, come look at our neighborhood, because it’s all lit up and looks special for the holidays.’”
The light tour is a safe activity families can make a night of or make a few evenings of by checking out a new neighborhood each evening, Barstad said.
To submit your address to be included on the map visit www.cityofpriorlake.com/lights. View the map on the same website beginning Dec. 15.