Behind the Scenes Look: Preparing for Holiday Nights
September 26, 2018
Did you know that every year, thousands of Christmas lights and hundreds of historic holiday decorations fill the grounds of the Edison and Ford Winter Estates? Dozens of staff and hundreds of volunteers spend countless hours preparing the site for this celebrated local holiday tradition.
Believe it or not, preparation begins in January of each year! As decorations from the previous year’s event are taken down and stored, they are organized based on which items will be needed the following year.
In the spring, a complete decorating plan, including themes for various areas of the site and calculations on the number of lights needed, is developed.
Over the summer, staff begin testing new items to determine how they will withstand the challenging weather present in Florida in December: not snow and sleet, but constant exposure to sun and rain.
In the fall, volunteers begin assisting by creating hand-made ornaments and items, as well as wrapping gifts to place around the many Christmas trees which are included in the event each year.
By October, decorating of the grounds has begun. Those driving down McGregor Boulevard may notice lights being added to the palm trees lining the road.
In early November, staff and volunteers are working on decorating inside the historic homes. All of the items placed inside the historic homes are either antiques or accurate replicas of historic items. The end goal is for the visitor to experience how the holidays were celebrated in a bygone era– from the victorian period through the early 20th century.
Now in its 43rd year, Holiday Nights will run from November 23 to December 30, 2018. Check back for more behind the scenes information in the coming months, and click here to learn more about this year’s event!