Sunday, November 21, 2010

Light Up Ocala

Every year the City of Ocala kicks off the holiday season the weekend before Thanksgiving with a special "Light Up Ocala" event. Last year Mommy and Parker went to this just in time to see the giant Christmas tree get lit up; it was also the night we discovered Ocala Chocolate and Confections!

This year we were involved the event by virtue of Parker's Cub Scout Pack who were invited to march in the Junior Sunshine Parade. We arrived in the staging area at 2pm and cooled our heels waiting for the 4pm parade start time. There were a few things around to keep us entertained - the Ocala Police Department going by on their new Segways and the very friendly Scout the dog.

Almost start time - getting organized.
Once Parker's group got moving (they were towards the end of the parade) we darted up and over a couple of blocks to watch them walk past the main square downtown. Before Parker came rounding the corner we spotted Reanne - she's in the children's choir at BUMC and was there with her twirling academy.

Here's Parker and his Cub Scout Pack walking by in the parade.

So we waited for 2 hours to start and the boys walked for about 15 minutes! But they had a blast. Posing for more pictures at the end.

Shortly after we picked up Mr Parker we spotted Reanne and her family from BUMC. We ended up walking around with the DeGraffs for a bit before the kids decided that they wanted to ride the Ferris Wheel. This is a semi-permanent addition to downtown by the Downtown Business Alliance and will be on the Square for the entire holiday season (until Jan 3rd).

We had to stand in line for about 30 minutes to get on the Ferris Wheel - the closer we got to the ride, the worse that Mr. Wesley looked. He thought it would be scary and we knew our little daredevil would love it once he got onboard.

This awful little sad face prompted the DeGraffs to try and cheer up the little man!
Mommy rode with Parker - it was his first time on a Ferris Wheel too! The view from our car was Reanne with her big sister Carolyn and her friend in car #15, then parents Gary and Joanne in car #16.
The view from the top of the Ferris Wheel. It was great! You could see so much of downtown and Parker was thrilled. He giggled - giggled! - the entire time the Ferris Wheel was in motion!

Little guy ended up loving the ride and wanting to go back soon!

We said goodbye to the DeGraffs after the ride and headed over to catch some of the music on the square for a while. Wesley ended up doing a little bit of dancing....

The official tree lighting wasn't until 7:30pm and by this time it was only about 6:15pm. We had some pretty tired munchkins and there were a TON of people pressing into the square downtown. So we made the call to leave and go get some dinner and put our tired little people to bed. They started to put an an obligatory fuss at leaving and then Parker asked if we could come back one night to see the lights downtown and ride the Ferris Wheel when it was all lit up. So we made a promise and headed home. Would you be surprised to hear that Wesley fell asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow?

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