Lake and Sumter Style Magazine
8:26 pm EDT
Monday, June 27, 2022

SOCIAL SPOTLIGHT: The City Lights of Christmas

Photo byTeri Virbickis/

Get ready for the holiday season with this quick guide of lighting events and parades across our shining cities.


Begins the holiday season with Light up Leesburg, a long-standing tradition. Each year Venetian Gardens turns into a wonderland of lights. Displays are grand and spread across the large park. Lighted monkeys and snowflakes hang from trees while the S.S. Santa Claus brings Christmas to Florida. There’s always something new, and in recent years, we’ve welcomed the musical Christmas tree that coordinates light shows with some of our favorite tunes. Light up Leesburg will be November 27, and you can stroll or drive through displays with 500,000 mini lights.

Don’t forget the 48th annual Leesburg Christmas Parade; it takes over Main Street on December 5, 3–10 p.m. Floats, lights, and beloved local performers are just the beginning. Expect finger-licking food as well as carnival style rides and games. It’s a great way to spend time with family and friends this holiday.


Come to the Christmas Parade and Celebration in Wooten Park December 5. It’s an all-day community event; 3–9:30 p.m. Join your neighbors for lakeside holiday fun.

December also marks the start of The Cannonball Christmas Express. Join the Cannonball crew for a ride from Tavares to the North Pole. Enjoy cookies and hot chocolate, make friends with elves, and get a surprise from Santa. This is a holiday hit, so buy your tickets before they sell out! Board the train at 300-398 E. Main Street in Tavares.



Greet the season with the city of Clermont as they host three jam-packed days of festivities from December 3–5. It kicks off Thursday, 7-8 p.m. with East Ridge High School Band Symphony at Waterfront Park Pavilion. Here’s the itinerary for the rest of the weekend:

Friday, December 4
• Family Food Trucks, Downtown at Montrose and 7th Street
• Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Presented by Downtown at Montrose and 7th Street
• Holiday Music on Stage 7:30–9 p.m. Downtown at Montrose and 7th Street
• Photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Provided by South Lake Kiwanis, Clermont City Center, 620 W. Montrose Street

Saturday, December 5
• Crafts and Food 9 a.m.–3 p.m. Montrose and 8th Street
• Music and Entertainment on Stage 10 a.m.–2:30 p.m.
• Hometown Holiday Parade 1 p.m. Downtown Clermont
• Concert by Montverde Academy 7 p.m.

Mount Dora

The enchanting city of Mount Dora gets into the swing of things early, their lighting ceremonies are November 28. A perfect post-Thanksgiving treat to get you in the jolly mood. The 34th Light up Mount Dora starts at 6:30 p.m. in Donnelly Park. They will also be lighting the Main Street Christmas tree across from Sunset Park. Don’t miss these other iconic Mount Dora events:

Saturday, December 5
• 56th annual Mount Dora Christmas Parade. 11 a.m. Downtown Mount Dora.
• Lighted Boat Parade. 7–9p.m. at the Lakefront Mount Dora

Lady Lake

Light Up Lady Lake transforms the park and the old red caboose with hundreds of lights; you may spot Santa’s reindeer or an old friend. This tradition makes its return on December 11, just in time to make new memories. The lighting ceremony starts at 6 p.m., and the display stays up all year long. Add this to your light-seeing lineup.


The city of Webster is bringing back Winterfest for the second year. It will be in the City Hall courtyard on December 4, 12:30-3:30 p.m. Last year was a great success with tree lighting, prize drawings, yummy food, caroling, train rides, and photos with Santa!



About the Author

Michelle was born in the heat of South Florida, but has called Lake County “home” for the last 9 years. Latching on to the idea that “if you want to be a little bit of everything, be a writer,” Michelle found her focus in a Leesburg high school Journalism class. Fascinated by the model of a renaissance man, she has since had her hand in many areas such as dance, travel, food, film, theatre, history, as well as costuming and Fashion design. But Michelle’s focus has always been the written word. While garnering a Bachelor’s degree In English Literature from Flagler College in St. Augustine, Fl, she was a part of The International English Honors society, Sigma Tau Delta and a regular contributor to the literary zine, Paperfinger. She is now, at 24, nearing the end of her Master’s program In English & Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, with a particular interest in poetry and the Romantics. As many of her interests are culturally fueled, she finds it important to fully absorb the world around and let her writing reflect these varied influences. Also believing “lower standards will lower the culture,” Michelle aims to keep standards high in her writing by being in tune with the community. She is ecstatic to be associated with the quality people and publications at Aker’s Media Group, who have their finger on the pulse of the community.

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