St. Petersburg Times
Brandon Times
Print storySubscribe to the Times

The holiday glow: A Dover delight

By Times Staff Writer
Published December 19, 2003

photo
[Times photo: Skip O'Rourke]
Christmas Lane, which is at 2091 Wooten Road in Dover, is put on by Lane Wetherington along with his parents, Ron and Faye Wetherington, and a whole bunch of volunteers.

What started 25 years ago as a simple front-yard display has turned into a massive project that Lane Wetherington starts assembling Nov. 1 each year. It takes Wetherington and company a month to put up the lights, dozens of displays and a small train that children can ride at 2091 Wooten Road in Dover. Wetherington has no idea how many lights he has but says, with a smile, "it's thousands."

December 1 through 29, people come from miles around to marvel at the winter wonderland. Wetherington estimates that between 18,000 to 20,000 people tour the annual display on 11/2 acres on his dad's yard.

"Lane has loved Christmas ever since he was little, even asking for Christmas lights for his birthday each year so that he could have more and more lights and Christmas things," says his father, Ron Wetherington.

Lane loves giving to the community.

"It is all about the people. I love doing this for them. I do it especially for the kids in our community. There are a lot of children that don't have a very good Christmas, and when they come here, the glow on their faces, well, it is very rewarding." he says.

The farm, which is just east of Dover Road, takes on the name of Christmas Lane, using Wetherington's favorite time of the year and his first name. Christmas Lane is open from sunset to 10 p.m. weekdays and until 11 p.m. weekends. However, Wetherington is quick to point out "that if people are here at closing time, the lights will stay on."

It takes 125 volunteers to help out over the two months it takes to set up and run Christmas Lane. Volunteers work in crews; it takes 10 to 15 people to manage the displays, help people and serve hot chocolate, popcorn, hot dogs and other foods.

Wetherington adds about $5,000 to $8,000 worth of new displays and lights each year. Lane says the December electric bill "is about $3,000."

[Last modified December 18, 2003, 10:50:01]

Brandon Times headlines

  • Feud keeps lights shut off
  • Seeking better growth control
  • The holiday glow: A Dover delight
  • I Live Here: Brandon

  • Community notebook
  • New power poles to be installed

  • Community report
  • Brandon: This joke turned into man's hobby
  • Sun City Center: By the people, for the people
  • Wimauma: Mission to build respite center
  • Brandon: An old-fashioned Christmas
  • Hillsborough County: 3 women defend high moral ground

  • Daytripper
  • Theater's a show itself

  • Lane Ranger
  • '03 Axies award drivers who crash with panache

  • Lunch with Ernest
  • Santa's helper is a mailman

  • People
  • Coaching teens to cook

  • Preps
  • Brandon wrestlers second in nation
  • Armwood High School: State Champs 2003 Florida Class 4A football

  • Zoning
  • Church seeks rezoning to expand church, school

  •  

      tampabay.com
    Back to Top

    © 2006 • All Rights Reserved • Tampa Bay Times
    490 First Avenue South • St. Petersburg, FL 33701 • 727-893-8111

     
     

    The Weather
    current temp: 82 °
    real feel: 89 °
    more
    Weather page