Huge holiday light display takes over the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds

"Nights of Shimmering Lights" entertains thousands

BRANDON, Fla. - Right about the time that Mother Nature is shutting down her light show with some spectacular colors... Stephanie Martin -- and her crew here at the " Nights of Shimmering Lights " get their display all cranked up.

"Sunset," she said -- almost beaming.  "We open at sunset."

And for their second Christmas season -- the first here at the Hillsborough County Fairgrounds off highway 60 east of Brandon -- Ms. Martin and all her elves have lit hundreds of thousands of lights in an effort to entertain.

"This is a little over a mile-long lighted drive through," she told me while being illuminated by some of the half million or so flashing lights.

"Over 95% of the lights in here are L-E-D's," she said.  "So its a low-energy use and there are over 650 different lighted frames, arches, etc."

But in the midst of the numbers and facts and figures, she bottom-lined the event for us:  "You load your family in your car and you drive through enjoying the Christmas music on your radio..."

It'll cost 20 bucks a car load to "oooh and ahh..." over the displays that took "awhile" to get like this.

"Six people... six six days a week... for seven weeks to set it up..." said Stephanie.  "Just to set it up!"

It'll take about 35 minutes to see it all, but if you go slow, you can savor it a little longer...

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