Lighting up the New Year

When the clock struck midnight on Dec. 31, thousands of people gathered together at the Lights Festival, to set free lanterns on which they had written their goals, dreams, hopes and wishes for the New Year. The festival — which also featured food trucks, music, dancing and games for children — took place at Little Everglades Ranch, a 2,050-acre working ranch in Dade City.

At midnight, thousands of lanterns lit up the chilly night sky to signify a new beginning, for the New Year, during the Lights Festival at the Little Everglades Ranch in Dade City. Using the markers provided in their light kits, attendees were encouraged to write messages of their goals, hopes, dreams and wishes on their biodegradable lanterns before setting them aloft. (Christine Holtzman)

Melanie O’ Brien, of Trinity, lights her lantern with a message of hope before setting it free. She said this New Year’s celebration was special because she just completed treatment for breast cancer and is in remission. Her friend Nicole Sims, also of Trinity, celebrated with her.

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