Mount Dora lights up at annual holiday event

Historic town shows off its Christmas spirit

GF Default - Mount Dora lights up at annual holiday event
GF Default - Mount Dora lights up at annual holiday event

MOUNT DORA, Fla. – The historic city of Mount Dora is about to light the town with its 39th annual Light Up Mount Dora event, a spectacle that kicks off the holiday season.

“Absolutely awesome. Beautiful, beautiful. Just so many lights, so many different colors, absolutely gorgeous,” said Carol Borst, a resident of Leesburg who has visited Mount Dora.

From City Hall to Mount Dora’s marina, more than 2 million lights are untangled and placed around trees and light posts. Pretty much all of downtown is dressed up in the Christmas spirit.

“Mount Dora is a community town and this is a community event,” Mayor Dora Cathy Hoechst said.

The event started almost four decades ago.

“Our public works department and our electricians and our electrical workers start out the beginning of October pulling the lights up, getting them ready to put up,” Hoechst said.

Local business owners and neighbors also join in with their own decorations and Christmas displays. The marina is decorated in blue lights to match the lake. The mayor said it’s also a special day to show support for the people of Mount Dora.

“We’re made up of a lot of small businesses. Our stores stay open a little later on nights, especially on the weekends,” she said. “We are a town that recognizes tradition, we recognize the importance of community. Whatever their holiday celebration is-- 'cause everybody celebrates differently -- but we have a lot of traditional things.”

Traditions include a 25-foot tall tree that lights up and plays Christmas songs throughout the day.

Light Up Mount Dora will be held Nov. 30 at 4:30 p.m., with News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve hosting the event. There will be live music and a Christmas show, followed by the main light show.

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