Winterhaven 'Festival of Lights' open to public

CREATED Dec. 15, 2012 - UPDATED: Dec. 17, 2012

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Reporter: Cory Marshall

Web Producer: Mekita Rivas

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Tucson residents were in awe. Saturday, neighbors switched on their lights for opening night of the Winterhaven "Festival of Lights."

Regardless of age, each festival visitor shared the same warm look of sheer wonderment.

The "Festival of Lights" is in its 63rd year. Jeffrey Brown and his family have been decorating their Winterhaven home for decades -- 48 years to be exact.

"I can't even explain it. I lived here from when I was four months old until now. You know, it's this excitement, this little twitter inside of you. You get all giddy when the holidays come around because you know that you're going to be touching people's lives," Brown told 9OYS.

Neighbors continue to touch lives through Winterhaven staples like, "The Wishing Tree," but this season's wishes have already taken on a more solemn tone. 9OYS cameras captured one young visitor who wrote, "I wish for the families in Connecticut."

Unforgotten, is Friday's terrifying tragedy in Connecticut. Outside one Winterhaven home is a candlelight tribute honoring all 26 killed in the school shooting.

"We're still going to light up and you know it's a bittersweet time with what's happened recently, but we still have to bring joy to each other and hug each other a little closer," Brown said.

Have you visited Winterhaven to see the bright lights and sparkling displays? 9 On Your Side would love to see your photos. Email them to iContribute@kgun9.com