Local

Fayette County holiday light show glowing again, months after fire

FAYETTE COUNTY, Ga. — A popular light display in Fayette County is all aglow again after a community’s generosity came shining through.

In August, a lightning fire destroyed a barn that housed wiring and other supplies for the spectacle, casting doubt on whether the show could go on.

Mike and Gwen Gaddy have dressed up their home and yard on Sandy Creek Road near Tyrone for 36 years, allowing people to drive through.

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Nearly all the decorations were spared from the fire since they were stored in other buildings.

“The problem was, the fire burned every piece of wire that we had to light the display and all the stakes to stand the display,” Gwen Gaddy said. “So all of our bones were taken out.”

The barn housed about 20,000 feet of wiring, along with receptacles and stakes for the decorations.

After posting the news on Facebook, Gwen said the community, in just a few days, donated everything needed for the display.

“We received every piece of wiring we needed to do the job, which is over 20,000 feet of wire,” she said. “We received every receptacle, every piece of electrical tape.”

What few decorations were destroyed, the Gaddy’s were able to replace with donations of money that came in. Still, while they had all the supplies, they weren’t sure they could get everything ready in time for a Thanksgiving Day opening.

“There’s no way we can put this Christmas display up again and have to rebuild the wiring system,” Mike said. “Then when the wiring started coming in, with friends donating it, that made me get off my high horse and just start getting busy.”

The Gaddy’s were able to get everything set up by Thanksgiving Day.

“We’ve been doing this for 36 years because it blesses us,” Gwen said. “It makes us feel good to do it. But these people showed us it’s really important to them.”

And the couple hosts the light display without charging anything, it’s a labor of love.

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“Even now we have grown people walk up to us, and they say we know you don’t know us, but we’ve been coming to your house since we were babies,” Mike said. “And that just makes you want to break down and cry.”

The Gaddy Family Christmas Light Extravaganza, located at 898 Sandy Creek Road, is open every night from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m., through New Year’s Day.

After the community’s generous response, Mike said he’s all the more inspired to keep the tradition alive.

“It makes me want to keep doing it, for however the good lord is going to give me to stay here, we’re gonna keep putting this display up,” he said.

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