Wilson Park Tree Lighting

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Wilson Park kicked off the holiday season on Tuesday night with their annual tree lighting. The ceremony featured children caroling, Mount Rushmore mascots, and baked goods.

Mayor Steve Allender lit the tree and gave a small speech. He encourages locals to shop with small businesses this holiday season.

Wilson Park has held the tree lighting for 11 years. It first began as part of a project to enhance the aesthetics of Mount Rushmore Road. For many years, the road was under construction, so they created a group to help make it look welcoming. The tradition stuck and is now a large community event in Rapid City.

Debra Jensen, the president of the Mount Rushmore group, has coordinated the project every year. She has seen the crowd evolve throughout the years.

“I think right now at this time, this community is more giving, more generous, more friendly, and just more cohesive than its ever been. It’s just a great coming together,” said Jensen.

Jensen is a fourth generation South Dakotan. She has a deep passion for her community. 

Throughout the holiday season, Rapid City is hosting several events. This Saturday, there will be another tree lighting in Main Street Square, followed by the Festival of Lights Parade. NewsCenter1 will stream the tree lighting ceremony on air and online. Gets details here.


Categories: Local News, South Dakota News