MOULTRIE, GA (WALB) - Downtown Moultrie is preparing for its biggest Thanksgiving night festival ever. Thousands of people will celebrate the holiday season with the lighting of Moultrie's unique downtown decorations.
Tens of thousands of lights are up all around the downtown square. Folks are eager to see them lit, but they also say there's more to the festival than the beautiful display. It brings a major economic boost to Moultrie.
In just a couple more nights, these lights will brighten up the streets of downtown Moultrie.
"When people start to see the utility trucks rolling around right after Halloween, they get excited because they know that it's almost Christmas time and the lights are going to be on soon," Amy Johnson said.
Main Street Director Amy Johnson says it took crews nearly three weeks to decorate the square, all for their annual Lights, Lights, Thanksgiving Night event.
"Santa and the crowd turn the lights on Thanksgiving night and there's this huge, 'Ah!', gasp from the crowd. It's just amazing. And you really have to experience it yourself to understand it," said Johnson.
But the event brings in more than gasps and smiles. With an expected 10,000 visitors that night, city business owners are expecting a huge economic impact. "We have more traffic that night than any other day of the year," said Steven Lazarus.
Lazarus Department Store owner Steven Lazarus says the festival is similar to a family reunion, After the lights show, they visit, and then they shop.
"They've got family with them, they can pick out what they want, and it's just a fun time. It's phenomenal how many people are in the store. But it's fun."
And with activities such as pony rides, live reindeer, and pictures with Santa, the evening of lights will surely impress.
Most of the stores downtown will open at 4:00 Thursday afternoon. The lighting of the canopy of lights and the Community Tree will begin at 6:00.
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