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‘Everybody loves Christmas lights’: Marion County residents kick off the holidays with The Ocala Christmas Light Spectacular

‘Everybody loves Christmas lights’: Marion County residents kick off the holidays with The Ocala Christmas Light Spectacular
Published: Nov. 26, 2021 at 10:58 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Marion County residents are kicking off their countdown to Christmas with the very first Ocala Christmas Light Spectacular at the Florida Horse Park.

“Everybody loves Christmas lights,” Pastor Jeff Shanks said.

St. John’s Lutheran Church and School is hosting the drive-thru light show that goes until the end of December.

“We just wanted to be able to just bring a lot of Christmas joy into this community after all that we’ve had over these last 18-20 months,” Shanks said. “Just to be able to get out here and I think one thing that really unites us all is Christmas lights.”

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Pastor Shanks said it took 18 months to pull off the show and they hope to bring it back every year.

“We said man let’s do this big, let’s do it big out in this community and allow them just to come and share in some joy and so I’m just ecstatic at all these cars lined up,” Shanks added.

They lined up to get an early start to the most wonderful time of the year.

“My favorite one was the one with the gingerbread man,” an attendee said.

The drive through light show isn’t the only thing going on at the park.  There’s also a Santa Land festival that is open only on Fridays and Saturdays where families can also enjoy vendors, games, train rides and pictures with Santa.

Families say this time of the year is all about making memories especially after a long year and a half.

“It’s amazing,” attendee Mirella Murillo said. “It feels back to normal and gives us more memories.”

Brianna Hence says she brought her daughter Malia because she loves seeing her filled with joy all the time but especially this time of the year.

“It’s more cheerful when you have kids involved and when it’s just you, you don’t really too much care but I love to see her happy and having fun with her cousins and that’s why it means a lot to me,” Hence said.

The outcome of the first night made Pastor Shanks mission worthwhile.

“Christmas is about light and joy and peace on earth,” Shanks said.

The drive-thru on Sunday through Thursday is $20.00 per vehicle.

The drive-thru and Santa Land package on Friday through Saturday is $25.00 per vehicle.

For more information on pricing and tickets, click here.

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