In Florida, even though we are far away from the snow, we like to get in the festive spirit. What better way to do that than fireworks and Christmas lights? Each year, Altamonte Springs has an event called “Light Up the Holidays” in picturesque Cranes Roost. There are vendors with food, games, free festive giveaways, and of course, what community get together is complete without a man calling for the legalization of medical marijuana and sweepstakes to sign up for that will undoubtedly result in so much spam mail and email that you will not know what to do with yourself?
All of that and more was the scene I headed towards on beautiful Saturday night in Florida. Every event in Crane’s Roost is typically very busy. Altamonte Springs is somewhat of a traffic light alley, so parking is near impossible. My friends and I rode together, which made parking somewhat easier. We had 3 pairs of eyes with which to look for a spot. Luckily we didn’t try to go any closer than an outer parking lot, but even there we ran into a lot of trouble finding a parking space. The event started at 5, but rather than wait around until 6:30 listening to choirs or watching local dancers, we decided to arrive (fashionably) late. Of course, that meant most of the parking spots were gone, luckily we found an empty spot and slid right in. As we headed down towards the event, there was excitement in the air. It was almost time for the fireworks to go off, and for the big tree to light up!
We decided to walk around and visit a few of the vendors while we were waiting. One of my friends looked at a booth talking about LASIK eye surgery. Meanwhile, I was looking at the food, or rather, the line of people that were in between me and a funnel cake. The line looked to be around 30 minutes long and of course, I was not going to be waiting in line while the fireworks went off and the lights came on. So rather than wait, I walked on, explored the SeaWorld booth and even picked up a free magnet.
It seems like everyone, who was anyone was down at Crane’s Roost. I ran into a few friends from work, as well as a few friends from Church. It was just a beautiful night, mid 70s with a slight breeze, you couldn’t ask for a better night to have this event. Just the weekend before it was damp and cold, I was very happy that it was not the case this weekend. Around 645 it was time for the fireworks to go off. We’d just found a spot close to the tree, a flip was switched, and then we saw the lights turn on coinciding with a burst in the sky. The fireworks display lasted around 15 minutes, not as long as the 4th of July Celebration Red, Hot, and Boom, but still a great show nonetheless.
After the event we walked back to our car, hoping to beat out a lot of the crowd, luckily we were parked close to an exit and not that far. We were able to get in and zip away before the true madness ensued and Semoran boulevard (SR 436) turned into a parking lot.
The joys of Florida in the winter…