Each year, the number of Christmas lights in Marie Selby Botanical Gardens grows, said president and CEO Jennifer Rominiecki.
This year, the display at Selby's downtown Sarasota campus includes over 2 million lights. Although the display will be unveiled to the general public on Dec. 8, an exclusive preview on Dec. 6 offered an opportunity for a sneak preview of the holiday spectacle.
Features Rominiecki highlighted in the display, which celebrates the 20th anniversary of Lights in Bloom, include new walkthrough, light-up flower displays on the Great Lawn, a field of flowers on the bayfront lawn, and a tunnel repurposed to be adorned with butterfly decor.
"Every year, everyone looks forward to experiencing the lights with their family. It has become such a tradition and a way to ring in the holidays," Rominiecki said.
"It was so fantastical and uplifting," said preview attendee Wells Willis.
"We really enjoyed it; it's beautiful," said her husband, David Willis. "We hope a lot of people come."
Ian Swaby is the Sarasota neighbors writer for the Observer. Ian is a Florida State University graduate of Editing, Writing, and Media and previously worked in the publishing industry in the Cayman Islands.