Work starts in October to make these lights shine all December. (Source: WALB)
This is the Chehaw elves' workshop where all the Christmas light frames are made. (Source: WALB)
This is what the Christmas trees look like before lights are attached. (Source: WALB)
Antonio Kinghton hopes visitors enjoy the hard work his team put in to this year's Festival of Lights. (Source: WALB)
Lonnie Ham looks forward to making these designs every fall with the goal to make kids smile. (Source: WALB)
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in front of Chehaw, but the amount of work it took to put the lights out might surprise you.
For the folks at Chehaw, Christmas has been on their minds since Halloween. That’s when they start preparations for the annual Festival of Lights display.
“We have a very creative crew that comes in with different patterns, ideas and displays we can do for Christmas lights,” said Maintenance Supervisor Antonio Kinghton.
All of the designs you see in park are made in house. That saves Chehaw thousands of dollars. It also gives the employees something to look forward to.
“It’s very important for us to be hands on. Since we are so close to the community, we kind of get a feel for what they are looking for and it gives us a better idea of what to make,” said Kinghton.
Chehaw uses hundreds of thousands of lights to create Christmas trees, reindeer, and other festive designs they feel will put the community in the holiday spirit.
For Light Engineer Lonnie Ham, it’s all about the kids.
“Well the kids, they get a real kick out of it. I have great grandchildren and they enjoy it. All small children enjoy Christmas lights, which a lot of us old folks do too,” said Light Engineer Lonnie Ham.
No matter the age, there is something to enjoy at the Festival of Lights, from the views, to taking a train ride, or even telling Santa what’s on your Christmas list.
“The payoff of it is to see the public’s reaction to all the hard work we have put in. It helps with the dedication and moral of employees here at Chehaw and it gives us more of a family feel,” said Kinghton.
The Festival of lights kicks off December second at 6 p.m. For additional dates and pricing, visit this story on our website WALB dot com.