PLANT CITY, Fla. (WFLA) – A Plant City woman loves to share Christmas joy so she and her family set up 25,000 lights – set to synchronized music. The annual display will go live Thursday night.
The lights are on display at the family’s farm, located at 2114 McGee Road. “We’ve made it a tradition in the area and we have folks show up Thanksgiving night to see them,” Gail Harrison told News Channel 8. “Sometimes I spend Thanksgiving trying to work out kinks.”
Harrison uses many different tunes, but her favorite is a Trans-Siberian Orchestra song.
About four years ago, Harrison saw a video on YouTube of a house, which was eventually featured in a Miller Lite Super Bowl commercial “because it was so awesome,” she said. “And it was!”
“I was hooked and decided to investigate how those folks created their display,” Harrison explained. “I’ve always loved Christmas lights and as a child growing up in the snow belt of Central (New York), I couldn’t wait to put up lights in the freezing cold.”
Harrison’s husband bought her a Light-O-Rama commercial control box and software. That was 2011 or 2012. Today, Harrison has three control boxes and two more to expand with. There’s even a transmitter so people in their cars can turn to the correct station and everything remains synchronized to the music.
It took Harrison 20 hours to program her first song. Now, each new song takes anywhere from six to 20 hours to program.
The display includes 8 14-feet Christmas trees. There are 12 6-foot candy canes lining the driveway. There are 10 programmable cosmic color ribbons that can be programmed to do different things.
Harrison, her husband and her son receive help from her father-in-law and a friend or two each. The crew completes the display in four to five days, using vacation time to complete everything.
Each year Harrison and her family try to go live on Thanksgiving. They take the lights down the weekend after New Year’s Day. “It makes me so happy to see people enjoying the display,” Harrison said.
Harrison and her family often sit on the back porch or at their bonfire, listening and watching folks enjoy the show. “One lady last year said she brought her child up every night to see the lights,” Harrison told News Channel 8. “That was so cool to hear; that we’ve become part of a family tradition.”
One year, Harrison’s husband darted into their house. He could hear a little girl’s laugh – from down the road. The girl was listening to “I Like To Move It” from “Madagascar.” “It was so cute,” Harrison aid.
Several cars often line up in the driveway at the same time, Harrison said. Luckily, her dad lives next door and can help with the traffic flow. The demand is such that Harrison even has a sign at the entrance to her driveway, directing people in and out.
Harrison cautions the videos don’t do the display justice. So if you’re looking for something to do with your family tonight, check out these beautiful lights – and be sure to send us pictures. “We would love to share the Christmas joy with even more folks in the area,” Harrison said.