December 20, 2012 - Despite the rain, one of Tallahassee’s most popular holiday events took place tonight which includes over 250,000 lights, Christmas music, snow and a visit from Santa. It’s all part of the holiday tradition that takes place at the annual Elf Night at Dorothy B. Oven Park in Tallahassee. Special guest, Mrs. Claus says "the lights are gorgeous here and Santa's just excited to see who has been good this year and he'll ask all the kids to go to bed early on Christmas Eve and to leave him some milk and cookies."
Creating the winter wonderland for the community to enjoy started back in October by the park's horticultural staff of seven people. Foreman of Horticultural Operations, Brenda Pratt says “we have over six acres of land and I believe we have half of it, maybe three acres of it is decorated."
If you are feeling charitable, there is a way for you to give back for your enjoyable Christmas experience. There is a wishing well located right next to the main house where you can contribute to the lights fund and with this many lights all donations are helpful. Pratt says “they see they get the free cookies and things and people like to give a little money because they get to enjoy all of this for free so a little dollar here and dollar there doesn't hurt anybody."
Brian Kunkel and his family have been coming to Elf Night for the past 10 years and say that this Christmas event has special meaning for his family. Kunkel says “I'm here with my sons tonight to let them enjoy the lights and participate in the Elf Night and it's also my wife's birthday tonight so this is something she looked forward to this year.”
If you were not able to attend Elf Night, don't worry, the lights will be on display for your enjoyment through New Year's Day. Dorothy B. Oven Park is located at 3205 Thomasville Road in Tallahassee.