Every night until mid-January, Mercer Village will be a festival of lights for all to enjoy. The annual Light More Homes Christmas Celebration benefiting Macon Area Habitat for Humanity has relocated to Montpelier Avenue and will be visible nightly from 6-10 p.m.
The light show has been a holiday tradition at Chick-fil-A on Tom Hill Sr. Boulevard for the past 12 years, but it was moved this year since the restaurant is undergoing renovations. The presenting sponsor for the event is Sierra Development/Live at Lofts, and Jags and Margaritas are supporting sponsors.
“Light More Homes continues to evolve through a lot of brainstorming. We have been extremely fortunate to have some wonderful partners who look for ways to grow the program,” said Ivey Hall, Macon Habitat executive director. “This was a chance for us to look at things from a different angle and figure out a way to bring the lights to the community and the fundraiser to Habitat amid the pandemic.”
It usually takes about 100 volunteers to put up and take down the lights, but that wasn’t possible with COVID-19, she said. Instead, several companies stepped forward to help with installation, including Andrews, Hammock and Powell (AH&P), Innovative Fiber Technologies and All-State Electrical, said Chuck Hammock, AH&P partner and the visionary behind the Light More Homes project. In small groups, Mercer’s softball and lacrosse teams also lent a hand on a couple afternoons.
“When we first met with Habitat for Humanity, it was proposed that this wonderful tradition be carried over to Mercer Village. We didn’t hesitate,” said Jim Daws, president of Sierra Development. “Considering what a great organization Habitat for Humanity is and our desire to always give back to this wonderful community, we jumped at the opportunity. This is sure to be a fantastic community event for Macon residents and tourists. The display will shed light on the amazing work of Habitat for Humanity.”
The light show features a canopy of 50,000 white icicle lights strung between buildings, a pedestrian arch tunnel with thousands of color-changing LED lights, a snow machine, a nativity scene, and a Christmas tree designed and programmed by Dr. Bob Allen and Mercer University computer science students, Hammock said. The majority of the lights are computer controlled and synchronized to music that will be broadcast over speakers in Mercer Village and an FM transmitter.
The goal is to expand the scope of the display in future years from Mercer Village all the way down Stadium Drive to the pedestrian bridge on Mercer University Drive.
Proceeds from the event will go toward electrical work for Habitat homes built in 2021, Hall said. Donations can be made at maconhabitat.org/donate or through PayPal (go to “more,” select “donate to a cause” and type “Macon Area Habitat” in the search bar).
Community members can also support Habitat by participating in the virtual Light More Homes @ Home campaign, which is sponsored by the Chick-fil-A branches at Tom Hill Sr. Boulevard and Bass Road, Geotechnical & Environmental Consultants and Raffield Tire-Master. Entrants submit photos of their holiday decorations and donations of at least $20, and then they will have their festive homes featured online and have the chance to win prizes.