In Palmetto, Florida, a heartwarming tale of community support and holiday spirit is unfolding. The “Lights of Palmetto,” a dazzling Christmas light show that has been a local tradition for the past five years, faced the threat of darkness this year. But thanks to the power of community and the kindness of strangers, the lights will shine brighter than ever.
A Tradition Nearly Lost
Tom Stallings, the creative force behind the ‘Lights of Palmetto,’ almost couldn’t bring the event to life this year. Following a severe health scare the day after Christmas last year, which led to a medically induced coma and a prolonged hospital stay, Stallings’ ability to prepare for the event was severely impacted. The physical and occupational therapy he continues to undergo meant that the intricate task of setting up the light show was beyond reach.
Community to the Rescue
However, the light show’s importance to Stallings and the community did not go unnoticed. Ron Howard from Xtreme Sequences of California, a friend and fellow lighting enthusiast, organized a remarkable effort, which he dubbed, “Save the Show.”
He gathered an extraordinary group of volunteers from across the United States who, moved by Stallings’ situation, came together to ensure the continuation of this beloved holiday tradition.
The Spirit of Giving
Over two intensive days, these volunteers, some from as far as Texas, Arizona, Minnesota, and New York, worked tirelessly to set up the show. They covered their flights and all expenses themselves, a testament to their dedication and the camaraderie within the lighting community.
Local Florida residents also drove in to lend a hand. The Stallings family, overwhelmed by this outpouring of support, expresses profound gratitude to everyone involved, including those who couldn’t be there but supported in other ways.
What Visitors Can Expect
This year, the ‘Lights of Palmetto’ will go live on Thanksgiving night at 6:00 pm at 5220 69th Street East in Palmetto. The display boasts upwards of 500,000 lights synchronized to music, creating a mesmerizing spectacle for all ages. In addition to the light show, a special Santa Mailbox will be available for children to drop off their letters to Santa.
Wondering what to expect? Check out this video from last year’s show…
A Reflection of Community Strength
The ‘Lights of Palmetto’ is more than just a holiday display – it’s a reflection of a community’s strength, resilience, and willingness to support one another. Tom Stallings’ story and the incredible response it evoked remind us of the power of human connection and the impact we can have on each other’s lives.
So this holiday season, as the lights dazzle and dance in Palmetto, they symbolize not just festive cheer, but the light of human kindness that can shine through even the darkest times.
Don’t miss your opportunity to enjoy this fabulous show! There is no cost to visit Lights of Palmetto, however, donations are accepted via @LightsofPalmetto on Venmo.