10 Country: Harce’s Gift of Lights - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

10 Country: Harce’s Gift of Lights

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December 10, 2002

Tift County-- The holiday season often brings out the good in many people, including a man who has spent 20 years giving a special gift to people.

Harce McGhee pulls what seems like an endless amount of Christmas lights attached to green wires from a metal reel. Few people can match McGhee’s determination to correct an injustice that happened to him more than 50 years ago.

“I love Christmas lights,” says McGhee. An understatement from a man who spends weeks pulling thousands of feet of lights almost everywhere. “It takes two-and-a-half months to put up.”

Call him the king of Christmas lights. “I’m pretty sure I have 75,000 to 85,000 up.”The need seven electrical switchboxes of power. But “The light bill is less than a thousand dollars.”

No two displays are alike. “I change it around a right smart.” He does have a favorite. “My airplane.” He used what he calls a worn out washing machine motor to power the plane, with plastic milk jugs and Christmas lights to mark the runway, if Santa needs a fast get away.

But Harce never got away from a tragic, emotional event that happened when he was young. “Dad wouldn’t let me have them when I was growing up.” That disappointed him so much that he promised himself that he would have as many Christmas lights as he wanted. “There’s 4,535 on this here line.”

And he has been true to his word, complete with hundreds of feet of garland and spotless grounds. Harce has seen a change over the past few years. He sees more limousines loaded with people driving through to see his light show.

As many as a hundred cars a night drive through the free holiday show, where Harce McGhee illustrates one of the holiday season’s popular saying- It’s better to give than to receive.”

Harce McGhee’s Christmas light show starts every night at 6PM and stays on until about 11:00. His home is located just south of the Brookfield community, east of Tifton.

There is no charge to drive through. Drive through slowly, so you can see everything. Brookfield is located on Highway 82 East, about 10 miles from Tifton.

  • Traveling East on 82, turn RIGHT at the Volunteer Fire Station across from a convenience store.
  • Drive about one block, crossing the railroad tracks.
  • Turn left and follow the paved road about 100 feet where it will make a curve to the right— Brookfield-Lenox Road.
  • Drive ½ mile and turn right at two, large lighted angles that mark the entrance to his light show.

posted at 3:15PM by dave.miller@walb.com