Bright lights

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Kiwanians around the world celebrate the season with dazzling displays of holiday lights, spreading joy for kids of all ages.

December days draw the sun to the Southern Hemisphere, spreading a shadow of darkness across the northern half of the globe. Yet, north, east, west—even south—the Kiwanis family brings light into the world.

They brighten lives by clothing children, feeding families, ringing bells to collect funds for the needy, caroling, parading, reading, dancing. …

For many communities, Kiwanis brings true light. Real candlepower. The kind that’s measured in lumens. The kind that reflects in the sparkling eyes of a child in full-scale wonderment. The kind that prompts smiles of memories among seniors.

Join Kiwanis magazine on a tour of Kiwanis lights through Colombia, Minnesota and Sweden.


Villavicencio, Colombia

Singing, dancing and laughing, children with HIV enjoy a bus tour of Christmas lights, compliments of the Kiwanis Club of Puerta del Llano. At one stop, snowflakes drifted down upon a white-winter scene while the children visited a snowman—a rare sight in the city’s 60-degree (Fahrenheit) evenings.

Photos by Archivolatino

Mankato, Minnesota, USA

It takes about 30 minutes to stroll through the Mankato, Minnesota, Kiwanis Club’s Holiday Lights display … unless you visit Santa, go ice skating, linger beneath the dancing lights inside the walking tunnel or visit with any of the more than 130,000 other visitors drawn to the 1 million LED lights.

Photos by Ackerman+Gruber

Karlskoga, Sweden

It’s December 13, and Lucia is coming, bringing light and song into the lives of the aged, the ill, the orphaned and the lonely. Every year, the tradition resumes on the northern shore of Sweden’s Lake Möckeln. Organized by the Kiwanis clubs of Karlskoga and Selma Karlskoga, the festival begins with area youth competing for the role as the Italian saint. The honor involves a candle-wreath coronation and a week-long singing tour of businesses and institutions as residents await the arrival of Jultomten.


This story originally appeared in the December 2014 issue of Kiwanis magazine.

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