By Meagan McGone
BREVARD -- After a month-long labor of love, the lights are up and shining bright at Wickham Park in Melbourne - all 2.5 million of them.
This year, the Boy Scouts of America teamed with Brevard County Parks and Recreation to light up the night with the 2012 Space Coast Light Fest.
"This is our first year organizing this," said Shanna Michel, senior executive with Boy Scouts of America. "Two years ago, the Eau Gallie Rotary Club decided not to organize the event, so Brevard County Parks and Recreation took it over. They didn't have the manpower, so instead of letting the holiday tradition die, we decided to lead it."
She said that the tradition, which began 13 years ago in Brevard, is special to the scouts.
"We have boys that used to come out here and camp at the Space Coast Light Fest, and do service at it, so we didn't want to see it go," she said.
So from now until Jan. 1, families can hop in their cars and head over to the 1.1-mile park to watch the lights twinkle and shine.
"There are a ton of lights," Ms. Michel said. "We have a tunnel of lights that the cars drive through, and it's absolutely amazing. It's a great big tunnel made out of 100 percent lights."
She said to see all of the lights spread throughout Wickham Park, the car ride will take about 25 minutes. But with one ticket, a car can go around the park multiple times in one day, Ms. Michel said.
On Saturday, Dec. 15, attendees will be sure to see all that the 2012 Space Coast Light Fest has to offer, as the park will be closed to automobiles and only open to foot traffic for the first-ever "Stroll Through the Lights" event.
For $5 per person, guests can enjoy vendors, bounce houses, food, music and activities for the children, all while surrounded by lights.
In addition to the stroll, frequent events will be offered at the amphitheater inside the park, including live performances and movie showings.
"Usually, the Space Coast Light Fest is static," Ms. Michel said. "Our goal this year was to make the whole thing interactive."
She said that last year, about 7,000 cars drove through the Space Coast Light Fest.
"This year, our goal is 15,000," she said.
The Space Coast Light Fest costs $10 per car on weekdays, Monday through Thursday, and $15 per car on weekends and holidays.
For more information, visit www.spacecoastlightfest.com.