Ushering in the holidays with the flair, style, and sparkle that’s become a hallmark, the World Equestrian Center opened the month-long Winter Wonderland on November 25. If you missed it – no worries; it’ll be sparkling all the way through Christmas Eve. Our super-stoked Showcase agent Noris Roche was there for the full experience opening weekend, and as far as we can tell, she had a ridiculously good time.
“Oh my gosh, it was so much fun,” she gushes. “I love going to WEC anyway, so I was excited to see what they had done. We had such a great time, and the place is so beautiful, it’s almost like you’ve been dropped into this magical world. I smiled so much my cheeks hurt.”
The family-friendly event is back for its second year of enchanting Ocala, starting with the official lighting of the Grand Plaza, glowing with more than a million bulbs and festooned with enormous ornaments, garlands, and even a Christmas tree maze. Kids can meet Santa Claus, write a letter to the Elves at the North Pole, and get tickets to enjoy breakfast with St. Nick at on-site restaurant Stirrups on select dates.
“The Yellow Pony was packed,” Noris whistles. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen it that busy. The food kiosks were really popular too, especially the S’mores stand. The whole plaza smelled incredible.”
She brought a carload of family along with her to the opening festivities, which turned out to be a big treat for everyone.
“My son was in from Hawaii; he’d never been to WEC. He, my daughter and the kids all came along,” Noris says. “It was really amazing. There were more lights this year, more stuff, more decorations and activities and these huge, beautiful Christmas trees – oh my goodness, it was almost sensory overload, but in the best way. My five year old niece loves princesses, so of course she was just mesmerized by the one that was walking around greeting the kids.”
Throughout December, WEC is also presenting a diverse slate of events that offers something for everyone, and that includes the runners and steppers in our lives. The Tinsel Trot 5K Run and Walk gets under way December 3 for an ambitious 3.1mile loop around the entire property for those who feel like getting in their cardio and dodging stilt walkers along the route before coming back to enjoy some hot chocolate and live music.