‘Tis the season to look at the lights as Jacksonville offers many illuminated holiday displays.
By Bryce McColskey • JBA Young Lawyers Section
It’s that time of the year again. Decorations are being hung, songs are being sung and Christmas tree lighting ceremonies are taking place throughout Jacksonville.
Many residents of Duval County are aware of the locations that Jacksonville offers for these family-friendly events; however, for those that are new to Jacksonville or just visiting, I’ll offer some recommendations for this holiday season.
A famous lighting ceremony takes place each year just south of Jacksonville in St. Augustine. The “Nights of Lights” offers up a truly breathtaking display of Christmas lights while also showcasing the historical attractions of “The Nation’s Oldest City.”
If you are looking to stay closer to home, Girvin Road is the place to go to see a neighborhood fully illuminated.
Located between Arlington and Atlantic Beach, this light display has continued to gain popularity over recent years, drawing more crowds and bigger light displays.
Another perk to Girvin Road is you can stay completely in your car while viewing the displays.
The last two recommendations are more interactive and fun for the whole family: ZOOLights and Dazzling Nights.
Located at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, ZOOLights provides the experience of seeing mystical light displays while also taking a ride on the Zoo Express train and getting a picture with Santa.
Dazzling Nights at the Jacksonville Arboretum transforms the 120-acre gardens and nature trails into a magical display of lights. This venue also features live entertainment and food and drinks while you take in the awe-inspiring scenery.
Whatever venue you choose, you get to see a special part of Jacksonville that hopefully welcomes you to the community or makes you feel more at home.
With the holiday season here and numerous events taking place that require travel, I want to remind everyone how vital it is to be safe and smart on the roads. The enjoyment of the holiday season is special, but the safety of yourself and your loved ones takes precedent.
Fortunately, we live in a day and age when there are ride-sharing services that can prevent us from getting into dangerous situations. I encourage you to think not only of yourself but of those around you during this holiday season.
For my fellow “Duvalians,” I hope you take time to support the city and homes that have taken so much time to put on these holiday displays for our enjoyment.
For those that are new or visiting Jacksonville, I welcome you and encourage you to soak up the winter wonderland that Jacksonville has to offer, even if it may be 70 degrees in December.
Bryce McColskey is an attorney at Eraclides Gelman practicing workers’ compensation defense.
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