Feature Story & Photos by Larry H. Oskin

The Clermont Citrus Tower is hosting a special new Christmas Lighting Display, which will remain up throughout the holidays.


On Saturday, Dec 13, hundreds of families came to the Citrus Tower to enjoy a special light-up the Citrus Tower show with musical entertainment, artificial snow, a photo booth, free face painting, games and free gifts all provided by event sponsors. All those who donated a toy to the Baby DJ Toy Drive were given a free ride to the top of the tower.


The event’s Grand Marshall Johnny Magic flipped the Chick-Fil-A sponsored Citrus Tower Light Show switch to light up the tower. The Baby DJ Toy Drive Program began over 30 years ago when its founder ‘Johnny Magic’ was inspired to provide assistance to families of economic disadvantage in the Central Florida area. As the host of Central Florida’s top-rated morning radio show, Johnny has had the opportunity to spend a great deal of time working throughout the community and witnessed firsthand the struggle that many families experienced in providing their children with necessities, especially during the holiday season.

Several thousand toys were collected at this year’s event and will be distributed to families throughout the Central Florida area. South Lake families can go online to register their children for free toys. To learn more email info@BabyDJ.org. or visit www.BabyDJ.org.

The primary sponsor of this year’s event was Wheatly Realty Group.  Matthew Wheatley shared a huge surprise presentation during the event. He noted how their agency had such a great year that they were able to put together a strong extra donation of $10,280 to help buy even more toys!  

Kristin Jamieson Mortgage Team

Scott Homan shared, “We are super thankful to Kristin Jamieson of the Kristin Jamieson Mortgage Team and Matthew and Alison Wheatley of the Wheatley Realty Group for making this new 2021 Christmas light show a reality.”


Clermont Citrus Tower History: Scott Homan’s father bought the land in a real estate deal over 25 years ago. Opening in 1956, the Citrus Tower now stands tall as a monumental showcase and tribute to the internationally famed citrus industry here Central Florida. The Citrus Tower was one of Florida’s original tourist attractions and landmarks, built here before Disney, Universal and any of the other theme parks. Built mainly through the efforts of A.W Thacker and F.J. Toole, there were over 240 founders and stakeholders involved. It was built at a height of 226 feet at the equivalent of a 22-story building on one of the highest hills here in Florida’s Ridge area. The tip of its highest antenna is about 500 feet above sea level. This beautiful landmark contains 5 million pounds of concrete with almost 150,000 pounds of reinforced steel.

The current Citrus Tower features a glass-enclosed observation deck that can be safely accessed by an elevator from the lobby. As you walk around the deck, you will see Lake County’s rolling hills with hundreds of lakes and endless new housing developments. You will see and photograph portions of Lake, Orange, Polk and Sumter Counties besides the distant downtown Orlando skyline and Disney World. On clear sunny days, you can also see parts of Osceola, Pasco, Seminole and Hernando Counties.

Take a ride to the top with your cameras for only $10. There is special pricing for children at only $6, while seniors, military, first responders, teachers and AAA members can enter for a reduced fee. They offer special rates for large groups and $100 annual memberships. Citrus Tower Members receive a handful of discounts, early access to events at the tower and unlimited access to the top of the tower for themselves and four people a day. With the air-conditioned glass-enclosed observation deck, you will be safe from environmental challenges. Morning sunrise and evening sunset photographs are fantastic opportunities. Hours are Weekdays and Saturdays from 7 AM to 7 PM, Sundays are now open from noon to 7 PM. They will be closed on Christmas Day.

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