Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Memories Turn into Magic Display; Couple Invest Savings to Engineer Holiday Light Show for Families, Big Brothers/Sisters

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Memories Turn into Magic Display; Couple Invest Savings to Engineer Holiday Light Show for Families, Big Brothers/Sisters

Article excerpt

Byline: Teresa Stepzinski

Christmas may be past but the spirit of the holiday remains merry and bright at Jax Illuminations - a mile-long drive through display featuring more than a half-million brilliant multicolored LED lights twinkling and dancing in computer-programed sync with the festive music of the season.

Located at the Morocco Shrine Center, 3800 St. Johns Bluff Road S., the display is open from 6-9:30 p.m. daily through Sunday.

Jax illuminations is a labor of love for its creators, Chrystal Newbern and James Bain, who are engaged to marry each other in addition to being partners in the project, where a portion of the profits are being donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters.

They were inspired by their childhood memories of Christmas, Newbern said.

"It's because we miss our holiday traditions. When we were children, our parents would load us kids in the car on a special night and we would drive around the neighborhoods and look at the beautiful lights on everyone's homes," she said.

"When we moved here a few years ago, we went looking for holiday lights and we spent more time driving than we did looking at lights," said Newbern, adding she had visited major light displays elsewhere and in Bain's native England such festivities are put on by cities.

"So we decided we wanted to wanted to bring something like this to Jacksonville," Newbern said.

The couple used all their savings, and got a small business loan to pay for the display, she said.

The chose Big Brothers Big Sisters, Newbern said, because it has been an inspiration in their lives.

Jax Illuminations opened Nov. 24 after Bain and a crew of four working 14- to 16-hour days installed the lights beginning Oct. …

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