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Posted on: December 6, 2022

Park display lighting up the Heartland


Going strong in its fourth year, the annual Lights from the Heartland lighting display is illuminating the night in Lakeside Park. 

And just like every year before, the gorgeous display continues to grow. 

Organized by the McPherson Park Department, sponsors and donors continue to help add to the display, which now stretches from the McPherson Water Park all the way through Lakeside Park to Kansas Avenue. 

“Our goal for Lights from the Heartland is to be a destination lighting display for the community and visitors from all over the Midwest,” said Wayne Burns, Director of Public Lands & Facilities for the City. “Each year we continue to add lighting displays, decorate more structures and trees in the park.”

For example, this year there is a new Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus display that was sponsored by Hedlund Electric. Also, there is a Bulldog/Bullpup head sponsored by the McPherson Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The display, which is still being developed this year, was lit up Thanksgiving night. 

Each holiday season, local volunteer groups donate time to help setup the display. In 2022, representatives from the McPherson High School wrestling team along with student-athletes at Central Christian College of Kansas joined in the effort. 

“We could not make the Lights from the Heartland happen without help from our community members and student-athletes from Central Christian College and McPherson High School Wrestling team,” Burns said. “From installation before the lighting displays are turned on to tear down after we turn the lights off for the season, we hope more groups see the importance of volunteers for this event.”

The display can be seen either on foot through the various walking paths in the park or can be viewed from a vehicle as viewers make their way around Lakeside Drive and Euclid Street. 

The display also is a part of the annual Holiday Trolley Light Tours, a ticketed journey around town organized by McPherson CVB Director Joni Regnier. 

“Lights form the Heartland is an incredible feature and has turned into a crowd favorite on the holiday light tours,” Regnier said. 

The display utilizes structures within the water park along with structures and trees throughout Lakeside Park, such as Eickbush Bridge 

The display also features a way to memorialize members of the community, represented by a spotlighted sign and snowflake along the display route. This is a feature that has grown more recently in popularity. 

Burns can take orders now for such memorials to be placed in next year’s display as orders for the snowflakes and other unique features have to be placed by mid-June. There are also various sponsorship levels. All of the proceeds go to upkeep and utility costs, along with helping expand the display each season. 

For more information, contact Burns at 620-245-2535 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or email


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