Lane Wetherington was 5 years old when he began stringing lights around his father's farm. Now he needs a volunteer staff to help him finish.
Christmas Lane, his 1.5-acre display in the Greater Brandon community of Dover, is chock full of lights, props and Christmas spirit. What started as a simple way to liven up the neighborhood during the holidays has mushroomed into a full blown Christmastime tradition and festival.
"It started out small and it has grown so much," Wetherington said. "It's great to see the kids out here and enjoy seeing Santa or going for a ride on the train. We have a great staff that this thing requires, and seeing the camaraderie that they develop is something that I always enjoy seeing. For me, it's a great thing to share with my family."
Lane's elaborate setup for his Christmas village is so attractive to people from Dover's surrounding areas that he has patrons and volunteers coming from all over Polk and Hillsborough counties.
"We got cars backed up for miles sometimes to get here," said Ron Wetherington, Lane's father. "Last year, we had over 200 volunteers. It takes a community effort from our neighbors but we get volunteers from as far as Frostproof and Tampa. Lane has always loved Christmas, so it's really great to see all these people come out here and enjoy their holiday with us."
If You Go
- Christmas Lane is at 2015 Wooten Road in Dover.
- Parking and entry is free.
- Lights are on nightly, from 6 to 10.
- The display is open through Dec. 30.
- Santa Claus hours are Dec. 14-23, from 6 to 8 p.m. Christmas Eve hours are from 6 to 7 p.m.
For more, visit Christmas Lane online.