MOULTRIE, GA (WALB) - On Thursday night, folks in Moultrie will see the Downtown square light up as part of the annual Thanksgiving lights event.
Thousands of people to show up for the lighting ceremony every year, boosting the downtown economy.
"Every year we eat lunch and have our family time. Then we get ready, we bundle up, normally it's cold. so we get ready and go shop and see all the festivities downtown," said Macie Hegwood, The Flossy Peach Owner.
"It's expected, it's a tradition that's caught on and gets better every year," said Darrell Griner, Griner's Jewelry Owner.
For 72 years, folks in Moultrie have made spending Thanksgiving night on the square a tradition.
Some folks even remember when it started.
"When we first started that many years ago I think we had six stores open, and now the whole town opens up their doors at night," said Griner.
Thousands of people, local and visiting, coming into the downtown square to see Santa and the lights.
Kicking off the Christmas season.
For Hegwood, this will be her first holiday season as a store owner.
"Thankfully I had some experience working downtown when I was in high school so I kinda know what to expect and being from Moultrie I know how it goes but it's a new experience doing it as a business owner," said Hegwood.
This year organizers, estimate that 15,000 people will attend the event.
For business owners, they said it brings new customers in the door.
"All the surrounding towns come in, young people come in from college and they are excited to be back in town. Its a very good business night and family night," said Griner.
"I think a lot of people around Moultrie expect this. And even if you aren't from Moultrie, they come from out of town to experience this. It's definitely fun to meet new customers," said Hegwood.
Most shops open at 4 p.m and will be open until about 8 p.m.
You can see Santa and live reindeer.
A lot of planning went into this year's Lights! Lights! Thanksgiving night event.
Utility crews in Moultrie spend weeks preparing.
Tens of thousands of lights are put up creating a canopy around the downtown square.
"It really kicks off the holiday season for south Georgia and north Florida. We have people from other states come and we welcome them because we believe this is truly a unique experience everyone needs to witness at least once in their life," said Amy Johnson, City of Moultrie.
The lights will stay glowing in Moultrie until New Years.
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