Georgia family's Christmas lights tradition busier than ever during pandemic

If you've been to one of the many drive-through Christmas light displays in metro Atlanta, you've likely already noticed that they are more packed and busier than ever.

One Fayette County display is seeing record numbers of people excited to see the sights from the enclosed safety of their cars.

It's been bumper-to-bumper traffic through the Gaddy Family’s Christmas drive-through display in Fayette County.

They've been at it for 32 years, and children from back then bring their children now.

"They will start lining up before the lights come on," Gwen Gaddy said.

The Gaddys say the number of cars has doubled over this time last year. On some nights, 1,800 cars pass through the 11-acre display.  

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"At the beginning of the year, people said 'Oh you're doing the lights this year?' and I said 'Well yes, I feel like this year more than ever we need to do the lights," she said.

And while the Gaddys’ display is a long-time tradition for Southside families, COVID-19 and the relative safety of enjoying Christmas from the safety of a car could be adding to the increased attendance.

"I think a lot of people are down in the dumps and want to see something," Mike Gaddy said.

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And then there is the economics of it all.  With some families struggling, enjoying Christmas at the Gaddy’s Farm has always been free.

"We have to have something to look forward to, and if we give up everything we're used to doing we're letting the virus win. And I'm not willing to do that," Gwen Gaddy said.

You can find out more about the Gaddy’s light display at the Gaddy Family Christmas Light Extravaganza Facebook page. There, you find information on the location, hours of operation, and the many charities that they collect donations for.

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