As visitors travel from near and far to Columbia County's largest light display this holiday season, they will notice several new additions to the popular attraction.
"The thing I'm happiest about this year is we're adding a three-acre lighted Christmas maze," said Benjamin Bell, Lights of the South owner. "As far as we know, it'll be the only lighted maze in the world."
The maze is designed in the shape of a Christmas tree, Bell said.
Those who lose their way in the maze need only ring a bell and they will be led out, he added.
Also new to the Grovetown attraction is a Christmas tree lot containing Fraser fir trees with prices ranging from $25 to $70.
"My goal is to let you have the full family experience," Bell said.
Lights of the South is about 106 acres at 633 Louisville Road just south of Interstate 20. The light display originated in 2005 and has since expanded to more than 4 million lights.
The attraction will remain open from 6-10 p.m. Friday through Dec. 30, but will be closed on Christmas Day.
This year, Bell said, additional lighted features will include 24 animated dolphins, King Triton and four sea horses in the pond area.
Music will drift throughout the entire park as guests walk or ride through the 1.25-mile illuminated trail. The wagons are handicap accessible, Bell said.
Candy Land, a play area for children that was added last year, proved a big hit with visitors, Bell said.
Bell estimates that about 80,000 guests will visit the display, which also attracts visitors from throughout the country.
"We recommend that people come earlier in the year, because most people come the week of Christmas," he said.
The event costs $7.50 for adults 18 and older, $4 for ages 4 through 17 and is free for children 3 years old and younger. An additional $3 is required for unlimited access to the maze.
Guests, who are invited to stay for as long as they wish, also can have their picture taken with Santa Claus.
At Mrs. Claus' Kitchen, they can sip on a cup of hot chocolate or apple cider, roast marshmallows and snack on a variety of treats.
"I hope they find the magic of Christmas here," Bell said. "I also hope, for at least two or three hours, the entire family got to be together, and everybody had fun."
For information and directions, visit the Lights of the South Web site at www.lightsofthesouth.com or call (706) 825-6441.
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