Posted by: Barbara Evanhoe | December 23, 2010

I Saw the Light(s)

Our weather yesterday was pleasant and mild, with early evening temperatures in the 60’s, so we decided – along with hundreds of others – to experience the Festival of Lights at the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center, just up the road.

It was a magical night in winter wonderland!

Stephen Foster LIghts

Stephen Foster Lights

More than four million lights illuminate the park throughout the holiday season…massive oak trees are artfully adorned with more than fifty-thousand lights per tree, while giant glowing balls float in thin air amidst drapes of Spanish moss. My pictures do not do the scenes justice, but I had to make a feeble attempt to capture the beauty of the night.

Festival of Lights

The Stephen Foster Museum, a recreation of an antebellum plantation home, is decked out in holiday splendor, and the Carillon Tower, which rises more than 200 ft. in the night sky, is illuminated from top to bottom with strands of white light.

Carillon Tower

Carillon Tower

The Gift Shop and Craft Square were transformed into a bustling gingerbread village, hosting craft demonstrations, and tempting treats like hot chocolate, roasted marshmallows, s’mores and fresh popcorn. Colorful candy canes and huge lollipops line the walkways, and crowds of excited children of all ages wander through the park for hours enjoying the show.

Gingerbread Village

Gingerbread Village

I have to admit, though, that one display seemed a bit out of place in a typical Winter Wonderland, but this is, after all, Florida!

Beach Scene

Palm tree, canoe and beach chair by the water

Should you ever find yourself in Florida between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, I can promise that a visit to the Festival of Lights would be well worth the trip!

(To put things in perspective for those of you familiar with the “Plaza Lights” in Kansas City…there are a mere 280,000 lights installed on this famous KC landmark, according to visitkc.com)

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