Tonight’s the perfect night for driving tour of Christmas lights

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 20, 2000

Load the kids in the car, blare your favorite Christmas tunes and make everybody sing along because today is the perfect night for area residents’ annual Christmas lights driving tour.

According to Vidalia Garden Club Historian Mo Saunders, the club will be judging houses in Vidalia for their Christmas lights contest on Wednesday night.

&uot;The judging will begin at 6 p.m., so everyone needs to turn on their lights,&uot; said Saunders. &uot;If it rains, the judging will be on Thursday night.&uot;

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The garden club will be judging in six categories – business, children’s, contemporary, religious, traditional and front door, a new category this year.

&uot;The judging takes about four hours,&uot; Saunders said.

Christmas lights contest committee head Tory Craft said it is impossible to tell drivers where the most lights are. &uot;They’re all over,&uot; she said.

Craft decorates her own house with lights because &uot;it’s part of the Christmas season.&uot;

&uot;I enjoy it for myself and my son Kyle,&uot; Craft said. &uot;The neighbors really enjoy it too.&uot;

Craft said she often sees people driving by really slowly to look at the lights.

Natchez is brightly lit as well. Sherry Jones of Providence Road said her house has more than 22,000 new lights this year.

&uot;It’s holiday fun that has become a tradition,&uot; Jones said.

Jones’ neighbor Peggy Norman and her son James decorated Jones’ house this year. &uot;We put them on the tree bottoms, the fence the front of the house,&uot; said Norman. &uot;We just try to be creative.&uot;

Norman was working Tuesday to get her own lights out. &uot;I’ll have about 10 (thousand) or 11 thousand this year,&uot; she said.

&uot;We have a little city down here,&uot; Norman said about Providence Road. &uot;When you drive up you look like you’re looking down on our little town of lights.&uot;

&uot;Turn right at Barry’s Seafood and you’ll see more lights than the whole city of Natchez has,&uot; said Charles Gibbs of Live Oak Drive.

This is Gibbs’ first year in the neighborhood, but not his first year to use lights.

&uot;I used to live out in the country, but I’d still decorate,&uot; said Gibbs. &uot;My wife used to ask me who was going to see it, and I would answer, ‘Me, every night when I get home from work.’&uot;

Gibbs said all the houses in his neighborhood are decorated with lights except three.

&uot;I believe in Christmas, and I believe what it stands for,&uot; Gibbs said.

Although you can’t slow down too much, also be on the look-out for the festively decorated houses on Seargeant Prentiss Drive.