Twinkling holiday light show draws crowds to Perham's Pioneer Village

Lights in the Pines hosted its opening night on Saturday, Nov. 26, featuring animated light displays, choreographed to a 90-minute musical sequence.

The Heminsley kids smile as they sit with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the Lights in the Pines opening night on Saturday, Nov. 26.
Elizabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus
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A group of Lights in the Pines attendees take a selfie together under the twinkling tunnel of lights.
Elizabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus

PERHAM — The snow of Perham's Pioneer Grounds was twinkling with bright colors during Lights in the Pines' opening night on the evening of Saturday, Nov. 26. The pathways of holiday lights were packed with attendees of all ages, admiring displays such as a shining rainbow tunnel and giant Christmas trees.

Attendance was high the first evening as people paused to watch the lights flashing and dancing to different holiday tunes. Photo opportunities — such as a giant reindeer and sleigh — drew plenty of attention. Santa and Mrs. Claus even attended to pose for pictures with kids and hear their Christmas wishes.

The light show itself — colors flashing, twinkling and spiraling to the beat of holiday tunes — drew stares of awe from all around.

A gingerbread house, surrounded by giant lollipops and candy canes, sits in a colorful display at Lights in the Pines.
Elizabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus

Perham Scouts Troop 321, along with Mike and Tammy Schmidt, invite people from throughout the area to visit the Christmas Lights in the Pines display at Pioneer Village in Arvig Park on the north side of town all throughout the holiday season.

Mike and Tammy have a long history of animated light displays, and they expanded their repertoire and equipment substantially for the Lights in the Pines show.


It combines an animated light display, choreographed to a 90-minute musical sequence.

Roots and Wing's sponsor display at Lights in the Pines features shining animals walking through the snow of the Pioneer Grounds.
Elizabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus

Between Mike and Tammy’s time, plus numerous volunteers, hundreds of man-hours have been invested to assemble the project. The project has received a grant from the Perham Lodging Tax Committee to promote the event.

Lights in the Pines has a number of sponsors who are helping the Scouts launch the display. Proceeds will be used by Scouts for leadership training and will also help them attend the adventure facility Summit Bechtyl Reserve in West Virginia.

The Miller family smiles in front of a bright, shining heart at the Lights in the Pines.
Elizabeth Vierkant / Perham Focus

Lights in the Pines will be up every Wednesday through Sunday from 5:30-9 p.m. until Christmas weekend. It will also be open Dec. 23 and 25. The event's entrance is at the Pioneer Village along Highway 8 on the north side of Perham.

Parking is available in the lot outside the park, and accessible parking is inside Pioneer Village. Hot chocolate, coffee and hot foods are available for purchase, and campfires to stay warm are burning throughout the night.

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