There’s a certain glow over the trees as you round the curve on Dunlap Mill Road. At even a quarter-mile away, you can already spot the illuminating effects of Shane Biddy’s Christmas display — a sprawling network of wires, incandescent and LED bulbs lighting up the house and yard.
It’s a lot of lights.
All this cost him $15,000.
It’s worth it, Biddy said. Worth every penny.
Over the past several years, he’s draped his home at 2539 Parker Trail in Gainesville with thousands of lights. But it doesn’t end there; he’s also got plastic statuettes — both from the North Pole and the Bible — situated around his front yard. A fog machine puffs out clouds of dense vapor. Laser lights streak their way across the lawn, and a digital Santa Claus waves from inside one of the front windows.
A radiant exhibit like this on a quiet Hall County road is sure to stop traffic this time every year, and that’s just what it does.
Shane’s son, Chris, said it seems like at least a dozen cars stop and pull over every night.
“Some of them take pictures,” Chris said. “Some of them get out and talk to us. They ask us how long it took us. Stuff like that.”
It took two months to decorate.
Before they get started (sometime around Halloween), Biddy said he and his two sons and a brother-in-law will lay out all the strings in the sunshine “to let the wires relax a little so we can pull them tight over the roof.”
The family then zip-ties the lights, light strands and extension cords together.
“It’s an undertaking,” Shane said.
The more than 40,000 lights create quite a glow.
“Put it this way,” said friend Jada Dixon. “When you turn down (Dunlap Mill Road) you can see the lights from Shane’s house long before you get there. It’s spectacular.”
Dixon added that some have compared Shane Biddy to Clark Griswold, a fictional character with a weakness for holiday displays from the film “Christmas Vacation.”
Shane has heard this a time or two before.
“People say ‘y’all are the Griswolds,’” Shane Biddy said. “Clark Griswold only had 25,000 lights. He was an amateur.”