Gallery: Light Up Ocala

Mason Bethea, 3, gets some help from his grandfather, Ire Bethea, the president of the Ocala City Council, as they flip the oversized switch on to turn on thousands of Christmas lights during Light Up Ocala on the Ocala Downtown Square in Ocala, Fla. on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2022.

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Posted November 19, 2022 | Photos By Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette


The chorus of “oohs” and “aahs” reverberated around the downtown square on Saturday evening, Nov. 19, when Mason Bethea, 3, got an assist from his grandfather, Ocala City Council President Ire Bethea, to flip the over-sized switch that illuminated thousands of holiday lights all around the downtown square.

This year’s Light Up Ocala event, which had a theme of “Jingle all the Way,” once again drew a humongous crowd to experience the annual kick off to the holidays. The festivities began with the Junior Sunshine Parade, which wound its way through downtown streets. Attendees also could check out performances by local groups, visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, see entertainment in three different zones and visit more than 100 vendors.

But, the big moment of course, was when the overhead canopies, gaily decorated Christmas trees, lampposts and just about everything else festooned with holiday lights was bathed in the festive glow of the season.

You can visit the downtown square through the end of the year to see it for yourself.