LARGO, Fla. — They’re bright, they’re festive and they’re all on display for a great cause. This month marks the 29th annual Lights of Lake Park.
From Rudolph to Frosty to the Little Gingerbread Boy, the Lake Park neighborhood checks every box when it comes to the Christmas spirit.
“Very very blessed to live in this neighborhood,” said one resident.
“The kids, the cars, the singing, the joy,” said Pam Bowman, another resident.
“Every year, every year, we love it,” said a mom with kids from out of town.
What began with just a few houses back in 1993 has grown into a three-mile-stretch of holiday magic. In this neighborhood, there really are no grinches.
“A couple of doors down over here the people moved in I think November 28 and I think before they even unboxed a box of their personal belongings the husband was outside hanging up Christmas lights,” said resident Amy Maltinos.
The light display began as a way for Lake Park resident Eddie Dow and his sons to raise money for Suncoast Hospice, who cared for his wife Ruby before she passed.
“And he was so moved by the care that he had received from the nurses that he wanted to do something in return for hospice,” said Maltinos. “And Eddie, every single night, would stand out and do all the collecting and greeting people.”
Eddie passed away in 2007 but his neighbors continue to keep the tradition glowing. In the past 29 years, they have raised more than one million dollars.
“It’s amazing the fact that this neighborhood for all these years has done this consistently, it’s just really remarkable,” said Stacy Orloff with Suncoast Hospice. “Who would have ever thought 29 years later and one million dollars later we would be so incredibly blessed by this amazing community.”
Lake Park is so bright, even Santa could see it from his sled high above.
“Back at home all of my elves put on a pretty good display but this is very nice,” said Santa.
The Lights of Lake Park continues every night through New Years Eve. For more information, go to lightsoflakepark.com.