Christmas in Wadena donates proceeds from light show to Project Share

Thousands of people came to Wadena between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day to view the Christmas in Wadena animated light show, with many of them donating to the cause.

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G.P. Anderson, creator of the "Christmas in Wadena" animated light display that brings thousands of visitors to the communty over the course of the holiday season, recently presented a $1,668 check to Mary Ann Hagen, director of the local food shelf, Project Share. The check represented 100% of the cash donations made by visitors to the light show between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. In addition, 165 pounds of food were collected to help fill Project Share's shelves.
Contributed / G.P. Anderson

WADENA — Christmas in Wadena, the annual holiday light show that brings thousands of visitors to Wadena during the holiday season, just concluded its 2022 run on Sunday, Jan. 1.

Christmas in Wadena creator G.P. Anderson gathered up all the food and monetary gifts dropped off in front of the display and headed east to Project Share, Wadena's local food shelf, and met its director, Mary Ann Hagen, to begin the process of checking in the donations. Together, Hagen and Anderson loaded, unloaded and weighed 165 pounds of food to help fill the shelves; Anderson then presented Hagen with a check in the amount if $1,668.01, which represented the monetary donations collected.

Over the past 15 years, Christmas in Wadena has collected over 5,923 pounds of food and $26,010.95 in cash donations, with 100% of the proceeds going directly to Project Share.

When asked why he donates the proceeds from the show to Project Share, Anderson replied, "To truly relieve hunger in our community, it’s important that we first transform the thinking behind hunger relief. Providing a bag of groceries to a person in need today is obviously important. But how do we make it so that person isn’t in need tomorrow?

"Implementing sustainable systems that feed our neighbors in immediate need while helping them get back on their feet and in position to help others is the key to ending the cycle of hunger. It’s becoming increasingly clear that providing our hungry neighbors information about available resources is just as important as the food source itself. What good is a food source if no one knows about it?"


Christmas In Wadena is an animated light show of music created, produced, edited, mixed, built, maintained by local artist, G.P Anderson. Thousands of people have visited the free display over the past holiday season, and numerous local, regional newspapers, television shows, radio stations and social media have raved about it as a "must see event" — a true holiday tradition.

A reporter at Detroit Lakes Newspapers since relocating to the community in October 2000, Vicki was promoted to Community News Lead for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and Perham Focus on Jan. 1, 2022. She has covered pretty much every "beat" that a reporter can be assigned, from county board and city council to entertainment, crime and even sports. Born and raised in Madelia, Minnesota, she is a graduate of Hamline University, from which she earned a bachelor's degree in English literature (writing concentration). You can reach her at
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