PLANT CITY – A switch will be pulled and thousands of Christmas lights will start to glow Dec. 5 at a yearly ceremony that helps usher in the holidays.
The 15th annual Lights of Love will be from 5 to 8 p.m. in and around McCall Park. Santa turns on the Christmas lights at 7:15 p.m.
“It’s like the kickoff of the holiday season,” said Jana Butler, executive director of South Florida Baptist Hospital Foundation, the Lights of Love sponsor.
City crews have worked for a couple of weeks to set out Christmas displays around the city. The lights stay dark until Lights of Love, which is held in the park at 100 N. Collins St. and the nearby old train depot at 102 N. Palmer St.
Lights of Love gets its name from the lights on the city’s 30-foot tall Christmas tree in McCall Park. Each light is purchased by a sponsor in honor or memory of friends and loved ones.
Besides the lighting ceremony, the evening will include seasonal music and the opportunity for children to visit Santa in the old depot from 5 to 7 p.m.; photos will be available for $10.
Refreshments and snacks will be available for purchase from 5 to 8 p.m. in the park at Mrs. Claus’ Kitchen.
Lights of Love takes place the day before the annual Plant City Christmas Parade, which this year is 6 p.m. Dec. 6 in downtown.
Proceeds from Lights of Love benefit South Florida Baptist Hospital’s surgery expansion project. Lights are still available for purchase for a minimum donation of $25.
Faye and Ron Wetherington are the honorary chairs for this year’s Lights of Love event.
For information, call the foundation office at (813) 757-8478.