Minnesotans kick off the new year with candlelight walk at Ft. Snelling

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Bundled up in the warmest winter gear, many Minnesota families decided to start their new year with a walk in Fort Snelling.

The tradition of the candlelight walk on New Year's Eve has been going on for more than a decade in Minnesota, and a little cold and wind certainly didn't keep thousands from participating.

“It’s beautiful, it’s perfect. The wind has died down since we started…we dressed perfectly,” one participant said.

For nearly 12 years, the candlelight walk has been a throwback to luminaries lighting the way across the plains and farms throughout Minnesota.

“It’s been so popular and so well-received, and I think it just speaks to Minnesotans being hearty and out in all four seasons—we dig out our boots and our mittens we just go have fun in it,” said Krista Jensen with the Minnesota DNR.

With the bitter cold set to slam the state on New Year's Day, families took advantage of some fresh air while the conditions were still manageable. The Farley family has made the Fort Snelling candlelight walk a tradition for six years.

“We just thought it would be a great time to get out of the house and do something fun on New Year’s as our last hurrah of the year,” said participant Lauren Denu.

Seven-year-old Ian said the lights are his favorite part.

If you missed out on the New Year's Eve luminary walk, don't worry - state parks across the area will have more throughout the entire winter.