Sertoma Christmas in the Park back for 25th season, ready to benefit local community

Local News

An annual Christmas light display that serves a good cause every year is back for the 25th time.

The Minot Sertoma Club has been around for more than 50 years. Club President David Gowan is also the leader for setting up Christmas in the Park.

“We starting putting up November 1st, and within a couple weeks, we have all 60 displays installed,” said Gowan.

For 25 years, the displays have been handmade by club members.

“Souris Valley Ready Mix actually welds all of our stuff together and then wire and bulb everything right here in this shed and we pretty much have made everything in the park,” said Gowan.

He says that on the rare chance a light display is broken, they’re quick to fix it.

“We’ve had winds up to 60 miles an hour, and almost no damage,” said Gowan. “Squirrels tend to bite through our wires once in a while, and we fix them out there.”

This is the organization’s biggest fundraiser — but the Sertoma Club doesn’t keep any of the money from admission costs.

“We give away all of our money to kids programs, Speech and Hearing at Minot State University,” said Gowan. “We’ve given money to Maysa Arena.”

EmmaLee Christiansen says she and her family look forward to it every year, and she loves that the proceeds benefit others.

“It’s very, very exciting that our money goes towards the Sertoma group,” said Christiansen. “We have had a couple friends that have benefitted through hearing aids and stuff like that through Sertoma.”

Gowan says that he encourages everyone to come through the park, even if there’s snow on the ground.

“Minot park, park system is really, really good,” said Gowan. “They keep the roads plowed out and they’re extremely helpful.”

Christiansen had one last thing to say before driving through the park for the first time this year.

“Merry Christmas!” said Christiansen.

Christmas in the Park lasts all month long and is $5 per car.

Oak Park opens for the lights at 5:30 every evening and ends at 10 p.m. except Friday and Saturday when it closes at 10:30.

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