'Not going to let The Grinch ruin Christmas': Brevard County Sheriff steps in to save annual light festival

A beloved Christmas tradition is back on in Brevard County.

FOX 35 first reported on the issue when organizers had to cancel the Space Coast Light Festival in Palm Bay last week. After the original story aired and just a week later, the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office stepped in to save the tradition.

The new twist on a decades-old annual tradition will move the festival to the north part of the county. Drivers are going to enter from Camp Road, near the county jail, onto Perimeter Road. Once inside, they’ll see Christmas lights and interact with law enforcement in a brand new holiday event. 

"We’re not going to let The Grinch ruin Christmas here in Brevard County," said Sheriff Wayne Ivey. 

Photo: Brevard County Sheriff's Office

The Christmas grouch tried hard and almost succeeded. 

"We made the decision not to do it this year," said Peter Moolhuizen in an interview with FOX 35 last Monday. He said staffing and location challenges forced them to cancel the event this Christmas. 

Less than a week after our first story aired, the annual event is back on because first responders stepped up to help.

"The kids will not only get to see the light fest, but they’re also going to get to see law enforcement and first responders," said Ivey. 

The Brevard County Sheriff's Office is teaming up with fire rescue to put on the festival.

Starting December 16, the empty road near the special projects unit by the county jail, will be full of Christmas lights and a new tradition the sheriff named after his beloved companion, Junny.

"Everybody’s excited," he said. "New location but at the end of the day, what we want is everyone in our community to be able to enjoy every part of Christmas, every part of this season and have fun." 

The sheriff is still looking for volunteers to be part of this new event. He says, if you’re interested in getting involved, reach out to them on the Brevard County Sheriff Office Facebook page. 

You can purchase tickets at the door and find more information about entree fees and the days it’s running at this link.