SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Falls Park in Sioux Falls is making its annual transformation into a Winter Wonderland.

The scene is set for Winter Wonderland at Falls Park. Crews beat the cold and put the finishing touches on the display ahead of schedule.

“We did a test lighting earlier this week, made some minor repairs to some lights that were out but everything’s set and adjusted and tonight the lights will come on and we’ll have another wonderful display,” Park Operations Manager Kelby Mieras said.

The holiday attraction opens tonight, but it’s a build that began in early October.

“There’s ten people that are dedicated to this, they spend six weeks doing it, and they do an absolutely incredible job,” Mieras said.

This year’s display will showcase more than a mile of garland and nearly 500 decorated trees and light poles, wrapped in more than 25 miles of light strings.

“Quite an extensive display if you think about what you set up at home and multiply that out here,” Mieras said.

“I love that it’s a free family activity that everybody can enjoy for the holidays,” Papa Woody’s Owner Lisa Esser said.

Lisa Esser owns Papa Woody’s, which opened at its location just west of Falls Park in February, and expects to see a bump in business thanks to the lights display.

“They know we’re here but I think sometimes out of sight, out of mind, so getting people driving in front of our business every night of the week for a month and a half is really good for us as business owners, the exposure is what we’re looking for,” Esser said.

And this year the city will have a better idea of just how many people visit Falls Park.

“So we have traffic cameras up that will do traffic counts for us. We’re in the final stages of getting them calibrated. We’ve got some of the traditional traffic counters out now that will make sure our counts are correct through the cameras but we definitely hope to have that information this year,” Mieras said.

Falls Overlook Cafe will host a Winter Wonderland Celebration tonight from 5:30 until 9:00.
Winter Wonderland at Falls Park is on display each night through January 15th.