The Hillsborough County Fairgrounds announces their ALL-NEW holiday light spectacular, opening on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 25, and running through Sunday, December 26. Tampa Bay’s Festival of Lights and Santa’s Village will envelop guests in an enchanting winter wonderland from their entrance marked by a custom, signature light display on Route 60 to their exit through twinkling trees as they leave the Fairgrounds. The entire site will feature a million lights.
This year’s event features a nearly two-mile drive-thru of continuous light features followed by a festive walking visit to Santa’s Village. Designed to appeal to all ages and backgrounds, the elaborate light displays themed to Florida and traditional winter holidays are complemented by individual presentations representing Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. From hilarious elves wrestling alligators to a giant gingerbread house with candy and cakes to a beautiful Feliz Navidad presentation, each area flows seamlessly along the driving route, ensuring continual guest amazement. Santa’s Village is filled with activities and treats that tempt the young and young-at-heart, such as Santa’s barnyard, holiday movies, visits with Santa and a plenty of social media-worthy photo opportunities.
For the first time, the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds Board of Directors named Fair Manager Suzanne Holcomb the Event Producer, ensuring that the Fairgrounds is wholly transformed into a spectacle of holiday cheer. Holcomb hired Brandano Displays Inc., nationally known for community holiday display events, as the lighting design firm to further elevate the event. Led by Pat Brandano, the team brings 45 years of design experience to the event.
“People who attend this year will feel as if they’ve been dipped in holiday magic while creating family memories. With enchantment in mind, we have added brighter lights, jaw-dropping displays, new activities and music that combine to create an unforgettable immersive experience,” said Holcomb. “We are focused on the guest journey from the time they enter the road leading to the gate to the moment they leave Santa’s Village.”
The immersion begins upon entrance, as vehicles travel through 80 themed display areas with more than 250 larger-than-life pieces. Convenient post-drive-thru parking allows guests to easily walk to Santa’s Village, which will be fully decked out in holiday décor and music, including more than 3000 feet of lights on buildings and 500 animated dripping lights on trees.