November 22, 2019
PLANT CITY, FL — Christmas Lane, a month-long winter wonderland extravaganza, returns to the Florida Strawberry Festival grounds at the Charlie Grimes Family Agriculture Center, 2508 W. Oak Ave., Plant City, Friday, Nov. 29.
This event, now in its 35th year, will be open from 6 to 10 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays, Nov. 29 through Dec. 22 and Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 23 and 24.
Attendees will enjoy more colorful displays, uplifting living Nativities, kids’ activities and nightly live entertainment.
“Sharing the festival grounds with Christmas Lane is great,” said W.D. “Dub” McGinnes, Florida Strawberry Festival chairman. “The Christmas Lane family’s love of Christmas truly shines through for visitors, and the work they do with student volunteers is inspirational. There’s Christmas magic here, for sure.”
An enthusiastic Santa and Mrs. Claus will greet and pose with guests each night for photos by Christmas Lane’s professional photographer or with guests’ cameras. Holiday icons Rudolph, Frosty and elves Holly, Jolly and Dolly will put visitors in the holiday spirit, as will larger-than-life items, including 100 glittering Christmas trees (some 40 feet tall), a Christmas Castle, two 10-foot-tall toy soldiers and a 14-foot-tall reindeer.
At the free Christmas Lane Kid Zone, kids can get their faces painted, enjoy children’s performers, color ornaments for the Wishing Tree, build with LEGO® bricks (courtesy of Brick City Bricks) and write letters to Santa.
A Living Nativity, featuring live animals, will be staged at 7 and 8 p.m. every evening except Christmas Eve. On that night, Christmas Lane will send Santa off to the North Pole for his flight around the world.
Food and carnival ride tickets will be available for purchase onsite.
Christmas Lane admission is $5 plus tax. Admission is free Thursdays for teachers and school staff with an ID or pay stub and driver’s license. Parking, accessed from Lemon and Oak streets, is free.
Dover farmer Lane Wetherington founded Christmas Lane in 1984 at his home. As a boy, the only thing he ever wanted for his November birthday was Christmas lights. Over the last 35 years, his passion for lighting up Christmas has grown exponentially and become a holiday favorite for people in throughout Tampa Bay.
Initially an ever-expanding light display at Lane’s family home, the nonprofit Christmas Lane found a new home at the Florida Strawberry Festival Grounds in 2015 and includes more than 100 Christmas trees, up to 40 feet tall. Elaborate displays and the roughly 1.5 million lights that accompany its larger-than-life decorations use more than 168,000 watts of power. Volunteers contribute more than 2,000 hours to set up the winter display.
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