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A Community Effort Illuminates the Holidays: The Otter Cove Festival of Lights

As the holiday season approaches, communities across the country come alive with festive decorations, cheerful gatherings, and a spirit of giving. In the heart of Fergus Falls, Minnesota, the Otter Cove Children's Museum is a beacon of holiday cheer, organizing an enchanting event that brings the community together – the Otter Cove Festival of Lights.

Born out of a desire to spread joy during the unprecedented times of the COVID pandemic, the Festival of Lights emerged in 2020. With traditional holiday events canceled, the museum sought a safe and festive way to kick off the season. A drive-through format proved to be the perfect solution, allowing families to enjoy the dazzling displays from the comfort of their cars.

Festival Of Light Bus

The success of the event is deeply rooted in the unwavering commitment of volunteers who play a pivotal role in every aspect. From the planning stages to the execution and post-event cleanup, volunteers are the backbone of the Festival of Lights. They manage donations, set up and tear down displays, and ensure the smooth operation of the event.

Local businesses and organizations also play a crucial role in the Festival of Lights. By sponsoring and designing displays, they contribute to the vibrant tapestry of lights that illuminates the night. Their participation adds a unique touch to the event, showcasing the creativity and talent within the community.


The Festival of Lights extends beyond the spectacle of lights; it is a testament to the power of community collaboration. It brings people together, fostering a sense of unity and shared purpose. The event serves as a reminder of the kindness and generosity that exist within our communities, especially during the holiday season.

While the challenges faced by the organizers, such as finding enough volunteers and dealing with unpredictable weather, add to the inspiring story of the Festival of Lights, their resilience and determination to overcome obstacles are a testament to their unwavering commitment to bringing joy to others.

The true rewards for the organizers lie beyond the satisfaction of a successful event. They witness the faces of children filled with wonder, the smiles of parents sharing special moments with their families, and the overall sense of community spirit that permeates the atmosphere. These are the true rewards that make the Festival of Lights a labor of love.

The Otter Cove Festival of Lights is a beacon of hope and joy, demonstrating the power of community collaboration. It's a reminder that even in challenging times, the human spirit can shine brightly, bringing together individuals to create something truly special. As you drive through the enchanting displays, remember that the sparkle you see is not just in the lights, but in the hearts of those who came together to make this event a reality.


We encourage you to come out and enjoy the Festival of Lights this year. It is a great way to kick off the holiday season and make some lasting memories.

The Festival of Lights is open from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM every night from November 29th to December 9th. The event is located at the Kirkbride grounds in Fergus Falls.

We will be accepting free will donations at the entrance every night and we are so appreciative of all the support!

For more information, please visit the Festival of Lights website: