“It’s just awesome,” said Monique Murray, a Wilson County mother. “We went through it at Opryland, and the kids love it.”
Formerly located at Jellystone park, the show has about 1.5 million lights that flash in sync with music. Guests turn off their headlights, tune the radio to 102.3 FM and roll through the show on roads used for parking during the Wilson County Fair. There are about 25 songs that cycle through on the radio station. It takes about 20-30 minutes to drive through.
“We have a wide variety. We have some slow stuff. We have some fast stuff. We have patriotic stuff. We have some stuff that borders on heavy metal, just something for everyone,” said show owner Mike Scalf. “We believe in Christmas and the meaning of Christmas, so we have songs that speak to that, as well. We do a Christmas show. We don’t do a holiday show,” Scalf said. “It’s good clean family fun.”
The light structures have several hundred bulbs on them that are controlled by a computer that adds color to the lights and synchronizes them to the music playing on the radio station. Scalf said with the move to Wilson County, the show has plenty room to expand next year.
“We really needed more space, so we wanted somewhere that we had somewhere to expand and somewhere that was used to handling large amounts of traffic. We also wanted somewhere well known, and everyone around here knows about the Wilson County Fair. I’ve wanted to expand for a few years, but I just didn’t have the room,” Scalf said. “I’m thinking here we could expand about 30 or 40 percent.”
With the large amount of space available, cars can line up on the property instead of clogging up traffic on the road, and after going through the light show, guests have a chance to park at Santa’s Village for photos with Santa, pony rides, a campfire, various craft vendors and concessions.
“We sell stuff for s’mores so people can roast marshmallows by the fire. There’s a movie that plays outside and stuff inside the tent. People love it,” Scalf said.
Tickets for the show cost $25 at the gate per carload. Visitors who bring three canned goods can get a $3 discount per carload every Monday and Tuesday, and any car with a veteran gets a $5 discount. The canned goods are donated to Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. There are also a few organizations with tickets for $15, and 100 percent of the money stays with the organization that sells them. The tickets may be purchased at Ronald McDonald House and Walden’s Puddle in Joelton. Fiddlers Grove had discount tickets, but they sold out quickly, according to Scalf.
“We try to give back and be a good neighbor,” Scalf said. “We’ll make our money, and we want to help those organizations, too.”
The Dancing Lights of Christmas also has shows in Mobile, Alabama, Cincinnati, Ohio and Richmond, Virginia. Scalf said the Tennessee show is the oldest and in existence for about 10 years.
The show opens at 5 p.m. and is at the James E. Ward Agricultural Center at 945 W. Baddour Pkwy. in Lebanon. Visitors should look for the Dancing Lights of Christmas sign across from the Dollar General on West Baddour Parkway, past the main entrance to the fairgrounds. The show runs through Dec. 31 and is open Thanksgiving and Christmas.