Bemidji Jaycees announce details for First City of Lights

The Bemidji Jaycees are excited to announce another expansion of the First City of Lights project which will, for the first time, surpass 300,000 lights.

Through the combination of grants and title sponsorships, the First City of Lights will light up Library Park for the first time since the early 2000s.

The trees will be wrapped, not hung, with cool white LED lights, placed in most of the trees in Library Park.

The illuminated archway will also be placed in Library Park, north of the newly restored Carnegie Library.

This expansion was made possible through a generous donation from Sanford Health.

Downtown Bemidji will also have a new look this year. With a grant from the George W. Neilson Foundation, 40 snowflakes will adorn downtown Bemidji streetlights, in addition to the current lamp post decorations.

The trees will now be illuminated with the tree trunks wrapped with lights, instead of in the branches, due to safety concerns.

The Bemidji Jaycees are excited to grow this event, but the light displays are all dependent on financial support and donations from the public. Donations are still being sought.

The Bemidji Jaycees first added First City of Lights in 2015 to their many projects, when the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce sought a new group to take over the project.

“Night we Light” will take place Nov. 29. More announcements on those activities are expected to be released in the coming weeks.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.


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