Fire destroys Christmas light tradition in Fayette County

It was a devastating blow to a Christmas tradition in south metro Atlanta. It’s believed lightning started a fire at the Gaddy Farm in Fayette County, famous for three decades for their drive-thru Christmas light display.

Mike and Gwen Gaddy tell FOX 5 this will be their 36th year for their light display. And if it happens at all, it will be their most challenging.

"I am really upset that all the wiring that makes everything come on is gone. All of the stakes that stand the display. Our carousel is burned up. Our very first piece ‘Ho-Ho-Ho’ is burned up," Gwen Gaddy said.

Three generations of metro Atlanta families have made a visit to the Gaddy Farm part of their Christmas traditions.

They have been featured on national television several times throughout the years.

It’s believed lightning struck the barn during a storm that passed through Fayette County Tuesday afternoon.

There have been community suggestions of online fundraisers, but Mike and Gwen say more than money, they need materials.

"Well, we really just need supplies. We need heavy-duty wire. Hundreds of feet of it," Gaddy said.

The fire also destroyed tractors that Mike uses to run his farm, as well as more than a half dozen horse carriages and other antique farming equipment that has sentimental value to the Gaddys.

But nothing is dearer to their hearts than Christmas.

"It’s going to go on. It may be a little bit different, but it’s going to be out there."

For 35 years, the Gaddy Christmas light displayed has opened on Thanksgiving night and closed on January 1. The plan is to update the public through their Facebook page at Gaddy Family Christmas Extravaganza.