Each year, Columbia County's largest light display makes the season bright for families in the Augusta area.
"It's hectic, but it's fun," Lights of the South owner Benjamin Bell said of preparing for the annual holiday event.
Since August, Bell and his crew have stayed busy replacing thousands of bulbs on large, lighted decorations on the property to ensure that the seasonal attraction will be ready for the public by Saturday.
Lights of the South, which originated in 2005 and now includes more than 4 million lights, is on 106 acres at 633 Louisville Road, just south of Interstate 20 near Grovetown.
New displays can be seen this year. King Triton, pulled by animated sea horses, will join a mermaid and dolphins at the nautical scene. Also new is a fully lighted Easter Bunny surrounded by colorful eggs and baskets.
Visitors, who can walk through the park or view the displays on a hayride, will also see a new 60-foot-long American flag with nearly 40,000 lights.
At Candy Land, little ones can enjoy a play area that was added two years ago.
Other family favorites are a lighted Christmas maze and Santa's House, where the line stays long with children waiting to see Santa and get their picture taken, Bell said.
Mrs. Claus' Kitchen will also be open to provide hot snacks, festive beverages and sweet treats.
Lights of the South will be open from 6 to 10 p.m. through Dec. 30 but is closed Christmas Day. Admission costs $7.50 for adults and $4 for children ages 4-17. Children ages 3 and younger get in free.
Tickets can be purchased at the gate or online at www.lightsofthesouth.com. Unlimited season passes also are available, for $15 for adults and $8 for children ages 4-17.
Bell encourages guests to come early in the season and on weeknights. Last year, more than 60,000 people came through the display, despite its being closed 12 nights for bad weather, Bell said.
Bell anticipates between 80,000 and 100,000 visitors this year.
Those who visit Lights of the South on Christmas Eve will get to see Santa off as he leaves on a fire truck to start his rounds.
"It's amazing what it does to parents," Bell said. "It just takes you back to when you were little."
For information about the lights display, call (706) 825-6441 or visit www.lightsofthesouth.com.
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