Keeping up with the Christmas lights


Tis' The Season- Seniors Ana Ramirez and Angel Carrasquillo exploring the UTC area. The two took full advantage of the picturesque scene and snapped a few pictures. "They blew my expectations away," stated Carrasquillo.

Noah Quillan, Editor-in-chief

One of the most anticipating things to do during the Holiday season is to go around and see Christmas lights. In the Bradenton area, there are a large number of communities and locations that put on a spectacular show. Whether driving an hour to go somewhere or cruising through local neighborhoods, there are plenty of special places for people to experience the wonderful feeling of Christmas.

In Sarasota off of Bee Ridge Road, there is a community called Colonial Gables. An overwhelming number of houses there participate in decking out their lawns to amaze the hundreds of cars that stroll through their neighborhoods all throughout the month of December. Several houses offer s’mores, hot chocolate and music. There are even a few houses that project Christmas movies onto their garages for the kids to enjoy.

X Marks The Spot- There are places all over the area that have spectacular lights. Each red symbol represents the location of all the stops mentioned. “My family doesn’t mind driving the extra distance to see a good light-show,” said junior Lexi Rodgers.

The “Lights of Palmetto” event is popular as well. It is a house that goes all-out in Christmas decorations. The decorations are in sync to Holiday music, making for perfect visuals. The location of this is 5220 69th Street E, Palmetto, FL 34221.

Moving back into Sarasota, Selby Gardens floods the property with lights and Christmas décor. Their annual “Lights In Bloom” event will be open from Dec. 14 to Jan. 4 from 6-9 p.m. For members, the price is $20, while non-members must pay $25. More details can be found here.

For those who are looking for the ultimate Christmas light experience, head over to Tropicana Field. Enchant Christmas is currently taking over the property, with the world’s largest Christmas maze, an outdoor ice-skating rink, Christmas market and much more. Tickets for this event need to be bought in advance and are selling quickly.

In Tampa, the thrilling Busch Gardens park sets up their own Christmas. “Christmas Town” is open from Nov. 16 and runs all the way until Jan. 6. It is included in the general admission price, so annual ticket holders can enjoy the event at free of cost. Busch Gardens puts on special holiday-themed shows and has special Christmas-time guests during the duration of Christmas Town.

“The lights at night were beautiful,” explained freshman Taline Abadjian about her Busch Gardens experience. “They had Christmas food. I got the hot cocoa and it was really good!”

The final stop ends at the UTC mall. The area has become overwhelmingly developed by shopping malls and restaurants but as for Christmas lights, there seems to be no limits. During the holiday season, it is a difficult task to pay attention to the road because of all the decorations surrounding the mall. All of the trees near the interstate on University Parkway are decked out in lights and the mall itself goes all-out with a giant Christmas tree and huge light-statues.