This is the time of year when houses shine bright with lights – colored lights, white lights, moving lights, lighted reindeer, lighted trees and anything else you can think of. Why not pack up the family, play Christmas music and ride around town enjoying the views of some of the best light decorations around?
Lane Wetherington has been putting on Christmas Lane at his parents’ house in Dover for more than 20 years.
“It started when I was a kid with a fascination for lights,” he said. Wetherington started asking for Christmas lights as birthday presents, which is in November, when he was a child.
Later, he bought a company specializing in commercial lighting which added to the display. He has also accumulated Christmas displays from various malls.
“We’ve been given some things and built others,” Wetherington added about the display.
Christmas Lane features a half acre of decorations, ranging from life size nutcrackers, a gift shop and an ice skating rink to a 35-ft. tall Christmas tree, complete with lights and decorations, and a working train that children can ride.
Christmas Lane is open from Wednesday, December 1- Friday, December 30. Santa will visit nightly from Saturday, December 11 – Thursday, December 23, from 7-9 p.m. and will make a brief stop on Christmas Eve from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Throughout the shimmering spectacle, hot chocolate, coffee, cold drinks, popcorn and cotton candy will be served by volunteers.
Christmas Lane is located at 2091 Wooten Rd. in Dover. To get there from Brandon, take S.R. 60 east to Dover Rd. and take a left. The display is two miles north on the right-hand side.
For more information on Christmas Lane, please visit www.christmaslane.org.
Brandon Forest, located in Seffner, is known for its elves. Every year, men of the neighborhood don red tights and shoes with bells on them.
The neighborhood, located on a circle, will start putting up its decorations on Saturday, December 4, at 8 a.m. which include cut out and hand painted decorations such as stockings and ornaments on light poles, a sleigh and reindeer on the front entrance and more.
Elves also host the children’s party with Santa, which will be held this year on Saturday, December 18, at 12 Noon in the middle of the cul-de-sac. They ride on a fire truck with Santa and help Santa give out gifts to all the children.
On Christmas Eve, the elves dress up in full costume, direct traffic and the hay ride throughout neighborhood.
John Mercer lived in Brandon Forest for 20 years, from 1977-1997, and started the Facebook group “I lived in Brandon Forest and believe in Elves.”
His parents still live there and his father is still an elf, one of two of the longest running elves, at 34 years. Mercer said, “My own children now have elf outfits and help their Pop Pop pass out candy on Christmas Eve.”
For more information, please visit www.mybrandonforest.com.
Barrington Oaks Barrington Oaks, located off of Lumsden Rd. in between Bryan and John Moore roads, consists of 51 homes, most of which decorate for the holidays. Decorations range from blowups to nativity scenes and more. Gates to the community open daily at 6 p.m. and stay open until 11 p.m., except on Christmas Eve and Christmas, where the lights stay on until 12:30 p.m.
Know of a great lighting display? Email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll keep an updated posting.