A Carousel of Lights in Sebring

By Scott Fais, Feature Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, December 02, 2016, 8:59 AM EST

In the heart of Florida, you'll find a celebration with heart.

"It feels like home,” said John Shoop, the mayor of Sebring, Florida.

Shoop is proud to invite the rest of the state, and parts further north, to the annual Carousel of Lights.

"We have a lot of northern residents who come down here, and really enjoy seeing a little bit of Christmas,” Shoop believes.

In the center of town, you can't miss the mayor’s Carousel of Lights in the round. There's no town square in Sebring.

"It's a unique thing to have a circle inside of a town in the first place and then to have all the lights,” he said.

Around the circle, cars make the rounds over and over, while folks stroll on foot.

"There's tens of thousands of lights out here,” commented Jon Spiegel, the man responsible for screwing in each bulb. Spiegel shared he begins setting up just after Halloween.

Here, you’ll find leaping dolphins, strolling flamingos and even bobbing seahorses. One thing missing: the inflatables.

"We sorta of go with a vintage feel to the Carousel of Lights so it ties in with historic downtown Sebring,” he said.

Each night a visitor from the North Pole is ready to greet visitors on two feet and four. Dogs like Jazzy are welcome to take a picture with Santa, along with kids at heart. Professional photos cost $7.00. While photo opportunities taken with your own phone cost $3.00.

The Carousel of Light is also is home to a puppet show, that has the ability to captivate the most restless of children. Miniature golf on the square is also popular.

The show, admission and time with Santa is a gift within itself, since it's free.

"I would like them to take back the small town feeling,” Mayor Shoop concludes.

NOTE: Santa make appearances through Dec. 23.  After Christmas, The Grinch takes Santa’s place for photos.  Carrousel of Lights takes place nightly from 6pm to 9pm through Dec. 28.

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Scott Fais joins Travel Monthly

Catch our own Scott Fais as the Florida Correspondent on the On Demand travel magazine, Travel Monthly. Each month, Scott joins other travel reporters from across the United States as they showcase a wide variety of attractions, diners, parks and landmarks from across America. See Travel Monthly nationally on Time Warner Cable channel 411. And here at home on Channel 999. Or see more of Travel Monthly here, courtesy of NY1, a service of Charter Communications.