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Walton EMC online poll picks area’s best holiday light displays

 ‘Tis the season for “light looking” — that long-held, holiday pastime when families drive around to view houses and businesses decorated  with Christmas lights, lawn ornaments and dazzling displays of holiday cheer. This year, you’ll find plenty of local places to get your holiday  light fix, according to those responding to a social media poll conducted by Walton EMC.

 The electric cooperative recently asked readers of its Facebook page to name the area’s best and brightest holiday light displays. Christmas on Dixie in Madison received the most votes.

 “We love doing this for the community each year,” said Shane Seabolt, who started decorating his lawn with inflatables as a way to entertain his daughters. “It’s a great feeling to know that people like it enough to say we’re their favorite holiday display.”

 Six years ago the yard display grew to encompass a two-acre lot and became a joint project between many members of the Seabolt family and their neighbors, the McCurley family. It takes nearly six weeks of work to set up the display. On Thanksgiving evening, the two families gather for an official “grand lighting” to begin another season of welcoming guests.

 Listed below are the five most-nominated locations. All are free to see, so load up the family and head out to take a look at these sparkling, twinkling displays in celebration of the Christmas holidays.  

1. Christmas on Dixie

  • Where: 2300 Dixie Hwy. (corner of Dixie Hwy. and Wilson Rd.), Madison
  • When: Through Dec. 31, 5:30-9 p.m. weeknights; until 10 p.m. on weekends. Lights on all night on Christmas Eve.

Started in 2013 by the Seabolt and McCurley families, this festive display features thousands of twinkling lights and 150 inflatables. For the best experience, visitors are encouraged to park and take a look around. Visits with Santa, face painting, hot chocolate and more are offered on select evenings. Before you go: Check the Christmas on Dixie Facebook page to see when activities are available.

2. Nations Church

  • Where: 8780 Macon Hwy., Athens
  • When: Through Dec. 31, 6–10 p.m. nightly

The church’s Light the Night display truly dazzles with 100,000 lights. The light show is orchestrated to some of your favorite Christmas tunes. Get more details here.

3. The Anderson Family Home

  • Where: 1360 Cole Springs Rd., Bishop
  • When: Nightly, 6–11 p.m.

For more than 15 years, the Andersons have filled their yard with an array of homemade displays lit up with Christmas lights. Guests are invited to roam the yard to explore the displays Junior Anderson builds himself. Favorites include a candy shop, Santa’s workshop, Snoopy’s doghouse and Mickey Mouse’s house.

4. Chick-fil-A

  • Where: 3637 Atlanta Hwy., Athens
  • When: Nightly, dark until 10 p.m.

The 200,000 lights at the restaurant are drawing crowds nightly, which pleases owner Alex Clark. “Our desire was to design a destination place of rest, hope and light,” he said. “It is a gift to our community where families and friends can create a tradition and make memories.” If you can’t stop by, see the display online here.

5. The Hornsby Family Home

  • Where: 191 E. Hightower Trail (two doors from the fire station), Social Circle
  • When: Through New Year’s Day; 5 a.m.–8 a.m.; 5 p.m.–midnight

Thousands of lights, animated displays, inflatables, a grand Christmas tree covered with more than 16,000 lights and a near-life size manger scene combine to make the property of Michael and Carol Hornsby a can’t miss this holiday season. For the best view, get out and walk along East Hightower and around the corner on Dogwood. Santa is available for photos Friday–Sunday, 5-7 p.m.

Inspired? Remember to deck the halls safely

If touring area holiday lighting displays inspires you to decorate your own place, be sure to do it safely to protect your home and those who live there, reminds Walton EMC.

When not used properly, decorations — particularly overloaded circuits — can create safety hazards or cause fires. Begin by reading the manufacturer’s instructions for each item and then follow them.

Check out Walton EMC’s blog for more safe decorating tips. Following these best practices can help you avoid common electrical hazards and fires that could be sparked by both exterior and interior holiday decorations.