Lake Hills display offers high tech radio music

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Those stopping by to view the Christmas light display at the home of the Eric Lambert family at 40 Camellia Circle in Lake Hills are asked to donate canned goods for the Community Food Bank.

By JEFF BISHOP jbishop@newnan.com If you decide to check out the Christmas light display at 40 Camellia Circle in Lake Hills, make sure you have your radio tuned to 99.9 FM, and bring a canned good or two along. The Lamberts are trying to spread a little Christmas cheer with their high-tech, musical light display, but they hope to help fill up the shelves at the Community Food Bank through Crossroads Church at the same time.
"We've decided to go a little bigger this year," said Eric Lambert. "We started working on this one back in August. We upgraded it from last year." He said cars are already lining up for the show. "We have lights moving to computer control. It's about 22 minutes of songs, with different types of Christmas music. It's pretty cool, if I do say so myself," he said. "We have about 10,000 lights up, after today. In fact I just went out and put up some more." Lambert said this will be the first year he will be asking for donations to the food pantry. "Every year in Lake Hills somebody sticks a flyer on my mailbox asking for donations of canned goods," Lambert said. "I drove all the way out to Turkey Creek Road to tell the folks organizing it I'd like to be a sponsor, only to find out that my neighbor right across the street is the one I need to talk to," he said. Lambert said he and his neighbor have both set up donation barrels in their yards. "Me and my crew at work have already managed to come up with about 115,000 items," he said. "If you want to add to the tally, you can just throw the cans out in my yard, as far as I'm concerned. But we will have a barrel out there." He said anyone who showed up last year will find quite a few new surprises this go-round. "Last year we had a pretty big one, but my wife says that this year I've gone totally crazy," he said. Last year he had 32 channels of lights going, but this year he decided to "double it up to 64, so I'd have more options." "You can build it as big as your budget will allow," said Lambert. "I just wanted to go a little bigger and do more with them." He took an entire week off from work at Thanksgiving to put everything in place. "So that's 40 hours of work, right there," he said. "I'd say I put 100 hours into it, minimum. And this year a couple of friends helped me out, too." His kids helped out, too. In fact, their voices are part of the show. "My daughter is a senior at Newnan High School and she does a news report that comes over the radio. But we changed her voice using Audacity to make the pitch different. She didn't want anyone recognizing her voice. She's a little embarrassed. You know how kids are at that age." His 13-year-old son, a student at O.P. Evans Middle School, also participated. "He does the traffic report. It's a lot of fun," said Lambert. He said their friends have given the stamp of approval to the whole affair. "There were four car loads of teenage girls who came by, and they all loved it. They thought it was cool. It's hard to get a teenage girl to say that," he said. He said the typical reply to the light show is a simple, "Wow." "People who see it for the first time tell me they really weren't expecting what they got," he said. "And what's really great is you don't even have to get out of your car. You can just stay warm, on the side of the road." Last year, there were nights where cars were "lined up in both lanes," Lambert said. "Fortunately my neighbors are very tolerant people," he said. "But it's not like we're blocking the whole neighborhood, because there are a lot of ways to get out. But we might have 15 or 20 cars out at a time. I can't even tell you how many people come by. Just don't park in my neighbors' yards." Lambert said the inspiration from the display comes from a similar display in the Timber Ridge subdivision farther up U.S. 29 in north Coweta. "But that guy only does his every other year, and I can see why. It can be laborious," he said. The display will be lit from 6-9 p.m. during the week and from 6-11 p.m. on weekends. Donations will go to the Community Food Bank through the Crossroads Church. ••• Other locations to check during Coweta's nights of light: • Hugh and Alice Nash of Grantville continue a 25-year tradition with the Christmas light display at their Canterbury subdivision home. The lights will be on from 6-10 p.m. weekdays, and until about 11 p.m. on weekends. from U.S. Highway. 29, heading south from Newnan, "right before you go under the railroad trestle, take a left into the subdivision," Nash said. • Of course downtown Newnan is aglow with wreaths, snowflakes, a community tree and decorations on the Court Square, along with buildings outlined with lights, for those who might want to take an evening stroll. ••• (If you have a light display you would enjoy sharing with your Coweta neighbors this Christmas season, contact Jeff Bishop at The Newnan Times-Herald via email at jbishop@newnan.com or call our offices at 16 Jefferson Street in downtown Newnan at 770-253-1576.)


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