News & Information > News Releases

November 12, 2019

CONTACT: Melanie Mowry Etters
Communication Director

Tacachale Celebrates 35 years of Holiday Lights

GAINESVILLE – Tacachale Center in Gainesville is hosting two community events to celebrate the Holidays and is inviting the public to come and enjoy the fun! Tacachale is located at 1621 Northeast Waldo Road and is home to 317 people with developmental disabilities. 

On December 3, the center will host its annual Holiday Parade beginning at 10:20 a.m. Come out to see school bands, ROTC units, law enforcement agencies, antique cars, and floats that will be participating in the parade.

On December 5, Tacachale will host its 35th annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6:30 p.m. The tree lighting ceremony is a festive event with tree trimming and holiday songs. There is a strong chance that Santa Claus may make a surprise appearance. The festivities are free and open to the public. Community members are encouraged to attend and participate in the fun activities. Local news anchor David Snyder will return as this year’s Master of Ceremonies. Performers include 1000 Voices of Florida, Inc., Annasemble Community Orchestra, and the Tacachale Carolers. 

Tacachale is seeking sponsors for its Christmas Home Adoption.  Individuals or groups who would like to sponsor a home are asked to provide a gift for each person living there and to throw a small party with light refreshments. For more details, contact Erin Saunders at (352) 955-5528 or

Additionally, the generosity of the Gainesville community is sought to help meet the Holiday wish list of Tacachale residents. Tax deductible donations can be made to Tacachale Christmas 2019 and mailed to:

Tacachale Volunteer Services                                                             
1621 NE Waldo Road
Gainesville, FL  32609

For more information about the tree lighting ceremony activities, contact Jennifer Bokariza at (352) 955-5829 or For details about the parade or donations, contact Volunteer Services Coordinator Paula Hawkins at (352) 955-5958 or

Tacachale Center is operated by the Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD). APD annually serves more than 55,000 Floridians with the developmental disabilities of autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities, spina bifida, Phelan-McDermid syndrome, and Prader-Willi syndrome. To learn more about the agency, call 1-866-APD-CARES (1-866-273-2273) or visit