A national TV audience has learned what many local residents already know — the Sowell Farm North Pole Christmas Light Display is a spectacle unlike anything else in the Panhandle.
Last week on ABC's "Great Christmas Light Fight" featured the Milton family's massive light display, which includes more than 1 million lights and takes 15 minutes to drive through from start to finish.
"...They reached out to us in July and left a message on my machine saying I was a finalist and I just about passed out," Sowell told the News Journal one year ago, in December 2018. "In fact, I had to rewind it several times to believe that's what I was really hearing."
On "The Great Christmas Light Fight," hour-long episodes see four families square off against each other for the Light Fight trophy and a $50,000 cash prize.
Sowell said she initially made contact with the show's producers years ago at a summertime Christmas expo. She stayed in touch with them the past few holiday seasons and finally, in July 2018, received the call she had long coveted.
About 13 months ago, co-host Carter Oosterhouse personally visited the Sowell farm to judge it for the recent episode. Zebras, camels and even a kangaroo roam the farm year-round.
"If we win it, we're gonna get a giraffe, that's what my kids want to do," Sowell said last year.
The light display opened to the public on Saturday and will remain open on a nightly basis until Dec. 27.
Sowell's North Pole Christmas Light Display opens at 5 p.m. and closes at 9 p.m. The charge to ride through it is $10 per vehicle and if you'd like to ride the farm train through the display it is $2 per person.
Santa Claus is on sight each night between 6-8 p.m. for photos, which cost $10 apiece.
Jake Newby can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 850-435-8538.