Saturday, December 12, 2009

Light Up Winter Garden

Tonight we went to one of the events that I look forward to every year at this time. Our town hosts an event call "Light Up Winter Garden." This event is normally held on the first Friday night in December. This year it had to be moved back one week because we had torrential rains last Friday. If we were living up north, it would have been a blizzard. In Florida it was just an ALL day rain.
Light up Winter Garden is a festival in which the West Orange Ministerial Association organizes a public reading of the traditional Christmas story accompanied by the singing of Christmas songs. Yes, in Florida we are actually allowed to read from the bible in public. I hope that tradition never ends. At the end of the Christmas story the City of Winter Garden "flips the switch" and turns on the downtown Christmas lights for the first time of the season. After the Christmas story has been read, the City shows a Christmas movie on a large outdoor screen, brings in "snow" for the kids to slide in and play with, has vendors in the street selling all kinds of foods and crafts, and of course Santa sits in the center of the street and visits with the kids. We really look forward to this festival each year, and I am glad we were able to be there tonight.

Caitlyn holds her candle while the crowd sings "Joy to the World" at the end of the reading of the Christmas story. All of the lights along the main street are dimmed. It is very cool to see everyone holding a candle and singing together.

Caitlyn gets a chance to sled down a snow hill for the first time, ever! It was a cool night, about 55 degrees, but this is as close as Florida kids get to real snow.

CJ spins his way to the bottom. He really seemed to enjoy himself. He is the only one of our three kids who has actually seen and touched real snow.

Caley makes her way to the bottom of the hill. Not bad for a Florida girl!

Three Florida kids playing with "snow." We told them to make snowballs. We forgot that they did not know how to make snowballs. Oopse, eventually they figured it out.

A little bit blurry, but here are some of the lights that are brightening up in our little town. It is finally starting to feel like Christmas!!!

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