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33rd Annual Festival of Lights

Sunday, December 19, 2021, 12:00 AM - 2:00 AM

The Pocatello Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Presents:

33rd Annual Festival of Lights
A Celebration of Holiday Traditions from Around the World

Benefiting the Idaho Food Bank

Date: Saturday, December 18, 2021

Time: 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Place: Rotunda, Stephens Performing Arts Center, Idaho State University
1002 Sam Nixon Dr.
Pocatello, ID 83209

This event is FREE and no tickets are required. For more information, please contact (208) 233-2602 or visit Please do not contact the Box Office.

The partner organization for this year's Festival of Lights is the Idaho Food Bank. Cash donations are welcome, but please no food items.

The program will have tributes to many different winter holiday celebrations, starting with the period when the Puritans banned Christmas because they thought it was “wicked and pagan,” to the gradual rediscovery of the festivals of Yule and Saturnalia. There will also be samples of stories from Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, and Native American responses to midwinter. The readings will highlight contributions of various Unitarian Universalists throughout history, from Charles Dickens, to Fannie Farmer (of cookbook fame), to Dr. Seuss, and stories that have become treasured traditions year after year.

There will be a quartet of singers, piano and guitar pieces, and carols. At the end of the Festival, timed just as the sun sets, all those present will light electric candles, and be ushered to a coffee and tea reception to greet the holiday season with cheer and community.
* * *
This year, the Festival of Lights will have a new home, the Rotunda of the Stephens Performing Arts Center at Idaho State University. In years past, the Fellowship celebrated the popular community event at the First Congregational United Church of Christ.

In the summer of 2020, the UUs opened a new Meeting House on W. Lewis Street in Old Town Pocatello. This has allowed them to expand their reach, and open doors to new community members by offering more opportunities to get involved. This also has allowed the Fellowship to change the Festival venue, so that more Southeast Idahoans can experience the Festival of Lights.

“This year’s Festival of Lights will incorporate many of the traditions Pocatellans have come to know and love, like beautiful music selections and heartwarming stories,” says Mark Neiwirth, ISU music professor and one of the coordinators of the event. ”But this year, we will be surrounded by incredible acoustics and spectacular views. This will create quite an impact and a memorable experience.”

“We have taken great care to create a program that is inspiring and thoughtful, and draws attention to issues that impact us today,” says Dr. Brian Attebery, ISU Professor and one of the founding members of the Fellowship. “People will be moved – and, hopefully, find a little bit of joy and humor, as well!”

“After an unsettling and anxious couple of years, it will be a joy to reconnect with others and welcome the holiday season, in-person with loved ones,” says Rev. Jenny Peek, the Fellowship’s minister. “We are excited to welcome the Winter Solstice and Holiday Season in a beautiful, new location. And to meet new friends and welcome the community to celebrate with us.”

The policies of Idaho State University require that all attendees will be asked to wear masks.

Phone: (208) 233-2602
Event url:

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1002 Sam Nixon Drive
Pocatello, ID 83209

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