The Cathedral Festival of Lights is back, and this year you can see it in person. 🤩🤩🤩
After catching House of Gucci in an empty Alamo Drafthouse theater in Woodbury and carb loading at DeGidio’s in St. Paul (which — fun fact — was founded in 1933 by a bootlegger named Kid Bullets), Team Minnevangelist swung by the 115-year-old Cathedral of Saint Paul to take in the annual holiday spectacle.
In addition to a small holiday market, there are two main parts to the fest: The Beginning, a free outdoor light show cast upon the 150-foot-tall eastern facade of the historic church, and Starry Night, a ticketed experience inside its sanctuary.
We nearly lost two ears and a nose watching the 12-minute outdoor light show in 18-degree cold (what in the H-E-🏒-🏒 was the windchill last night… -35?!), but the light projections were enchanting. Religious in nature, of course (last year’s theme was The Manger), but cool to see regardless of one’s spiritual leaning.
The indoor show is an immersive light-and-sound experience splashing a galaxy of twinkling purple and blue stars across the church’s stunning Beaux Arts interior. Designed by U.K.-based arts collaborative Luxmuralis, the intergalactic display includes an original musical score and 360-degree projections. Fair warning: It’s more meditative than trippy, so kids may get a tad bored halfway through.
The Cathedral Festival of Lights runs through Sunday, December 19. Starry Night beams up every 20 minutes from 6 to 10 p.m. on Friday, December 17 and on Saturday, December 18 and Sunday, December 19 from from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door or through Eventbrite . It’s $15 per person or $40 for groups of five or fewer.
The Beginning can be viewed from Cathedral Hill Park and is free for pedestrians (same days and viewing hours as Starry Night above), or you can reserve one of 720 drive-in tickets for special Sunday showings ($10 per vehicle and bookable via Eventbrite; advance registration required). Proceeds benefit the Cathedral Heritage Foundation’s ongoing preservation and restoration of the Cathedral of Saint Paul.
Cathedral of Saint Paul
239 Selby Ave., St. Paul, MN; 651-228-1766.