A residential light show to rival all others has been erected this holiday season in a subdivision off Ga. 400.
One family who lives in the Highland Pointe at Oakmont subdivision has worked their magic to bring a synced-to-music light show extravaganza to the people of Dawsonville.
"The first thing that goes up every year is the blow-up Santa on the roof, it's the signal that Christmas is coming and that the lights will be up soon," said Cameron Cowart as he stood outside his home, his face lit by the Christmas lights that flashed to the beat of an inaudible song.
Cowart, 25, has for the past two years strung up lights and decor at his home on Oakmont Drive, and advertised a free light show for all ages. The show is synced to music, and a sign in Cowart's yard beckons onlookers to tune in to 107.7 FM in order to "listen to the magic."
The show spans Cowart's yard and into the two yards on either side, which neighbors have graciously let him use. The show contains 13,000 lights and four songs.
Cowart said he began programming the lights to dance in sync with music five years ago, when he lived with his dad.
"I always enjoyed putting up the lights when I was little and I saw someone do a light show once and I thought it would be really cool to do one," Cowart said.
Cowart said the lights are something akin to art.
"I just really love Christmas, it's my favorite time of the year," Cowart said. "And it isn't like it's drudgery for me, it's relaxing to put up the lights and see the end result. It's like my form of art."
Cowart began putting up the lights at the beginning of November, and finally turned them on three weeks later on Thanksgiving night.
It's not erecting the lights and decor that take the most time and patience from Cowart, but timing the lights to dance to music.
Each minute of music takes Cowart two hours to program.
"You have to listen to the music and the beat and use a computer program to get the lights to go in sync with the music," he said. "I have 48 circuits, and all 48 go to every beat of the music. We have four songs. It's right at two hours of programming for every one minute of music."
It's Cowart's passion for Christmas that gives him the drive to program the songs, and he said he will have a new, fifth song ready to go in a few weeks.
"It's hard to find people who really get into the Christmas spirit and decorate anymore," he said. "But I get really into it. Once November hits, it's Christmas time and the house transforms inside and out."
Cowart and his fiancé Stormi Barrett, 23, have a 2 and a half-year-old son, Paxton, who they say is their motivation to continue the light show.
"Seeing my son's reaction is my favorite part of the light show," Cowart said. "I do it for the neighbors too, but seeing his face is the main reason."
Barrett said she loves the lights for her son as well, but also loves how the show gives back to the community.
"My son loves it, but I love it for other people too," she said. "It's something we can do for others, and it's free. We don't ask for money to help and we do it for everyone, and I don't think you get that a lot."
Barrett said that one year she would like to put out a collection bin for Toys for Tots, as another way to give back through the light show.
"We want to do Toys for Tots and let people donate toys when they come watch if they'd like," she said. "It's so easy to get people from both Dawson and Forsyth at this location, and we'd like to do that to help give back during the holidays."
The show began Nov. 25 and will continue through Christmas. The show runs Sunday through Thursday each week from 5:30 to 10:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 5:30 to 11 p.m.