Some of my favorite memories as a kid at Christmastime are of my mom piling us up into the station wagon and taking us around to see the lights. We drove by the house that a globetrotter lived in, and I was in awe (Hubert "Geese" Ausbie used to live near Park Plaza mall back in the day. The neighborhood still makes my best residential lights list). The house that I remember the most? The one we referred to as the Osborne compound, which was later the subject of a lot more media when the neighbors made him take his lights down.
I remember the traffic around the house. We would sit the car for hours as we waited for a glimpse of the house. Once or twice we walked by. The family was sometimes outside greeting people as they walked by. There were so many lights that now they light up Disney World. The display got bigger every year. Even with the traffic, it was something you had to go see every year (some people even came from other states).
Jennings Oborne died in 2011. His daughter started a fun 5k in his honor last year. Of course, the theme had to be Christmas lights. Saturday the 8th is the second running of the Light Up the Night 5k. Last year 900 runners registered for the race. This year the goal is to increase that to 1000 participants.
The race fee is $25. Runners can register on site from 3:30-4:45 p.m. in River Market Pavilion (more info). The race starts at 5 p.m. I was there last year, though I didn't run. There was a pretty good turnout for a inaugural event. People dressed up in costumes and some had lights. It reminded me a little of the Jingle Bell Run, but this one is at night, which makes lighted costumes a lot of fun. I was a little disappointed that more people didn't do crazy lights last year, but maybe they will this year.
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