Nisswa lights up during City of Lights Festival

Downtown is aglow after lights are turned on.

Agatha Bragg, 6, from St. Paul, carefully writes a letter to Santa at the Nisswa Chamber Building during the City of Lights Festival on Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. She and her family were visiting her grandparents, Rich and Maggie Bragg, of Pequot Lakes. Nancy Vogt / Echo Journal

Downtown Nisswa is aglow after the 40th annual Nisswa City of Lights Festival held Friday, Nov. 26.

The event featured annual shopping specials, bonfires, blinky lights and Christmas themed activities. As always, it culminated with a fireworks display that brought people out to the downtown streets to watch.

Children were able to write letters to Santa, as well as share their Christmas wishes with Santa in Nisswa Square and with Santa and Mrs. Claus, who arrived at the chamber gazebo via fire truck. Families were able to get holiday photos taken with reindeer as well.

The Totem Pole on Main Street in Nisswa is decorated in a gingerbread house theme Nov. 26, 2021. Nancy Vogt / Echo Journal


Many businesses decorated in a gingerbread theme. And luminaries lined the sidewalks at the Pioneer Village, adding a nostalgic feel as that's how the event first started more than 40 years ago.

Our Lady of the Lakes parish youth staged a Live Nativity scene at the Pioneer Village.

Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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