Morgan Lights dazzle neighbors, families with Christmas lights show
For many residences in Stanly, it’s not the holiday season until the Christmas lights go up, but in the case of one family, the lights are only part of a whole expression of holiday cheer.
The Morgan family, living at 901 Larkhaven Lane in Albemarle, present every evening from 5:30 to 10 p.m. a coordinated lights and music display celebrating the holiday season.
Many an evening, cars line the opposite side of the house well down the block as families enjoy listening to holiday tunes on their car radios while watching the lights flash and flicker in time to the music.
Randy, his wife Ann and their children, Bradley and Bethany, have only lived in Albemarle for about two years since moving in 2017 but the family have put on a lights show for five years dating back to their time living in Albemarle.
Moving to Stanly in his work with First Bank in information technology, Randy said the idea for doing a light show came from “The Great Christmas Light Fight” television show on ABC, the same show on which Darin and Cindy Robinson of Red Cross participated in the same year the Morgans moved to Albemarle.
“I’ve always had lights in my yard, like a Griswold kind of display,” Randy said referring to the movie ” National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”
“I saw the synchronized lights and wondered to myself what it takes to do that so I started my research.”
With his background in computers, the mix of technology with the family’s annual Christmas lights was the perfect combination.
“I just fell in love and it’s been an addiction every since,” Randy said.
This year, the family added a video board to introduce the show which allowed the family to cut a promo letting people know the ground rules for the shows, like switching headlights off and keeping a car audio system’s bass down as to not have too much noise.
Shows themselves repeat about every 15 minutes and have rotated through different song sets throughout the month.
Randy said the idea of doing all this came from inside his own creativity.
“It’s all this creativity. You sit down in front of the computer, listen to a song and let it tell you what it’s going to look like on the display,” Randy said.
Social media and online forums have helped the family create the different parts of the display from flashing trees to four light bulbs which serve as the display’s unofficial chorus singing vocal parts of the various songs used.
Randy’s wife, when she was first asked about doing a display, said she fought it for a few years but finally gave her OK to do it.
“You can never talk to me about how much I spend on my hobby,” Ann quipped to her husband years ago.
The price of the equipment up front was a little bit of a committment, she explained, but much of the costs have been spread out over several years of doing the shows.
“We’ve built it organically a little bit at a time,” Ann said.
The family agreed when starting the show in Albemarle they were not sure what the reactions would be, but last year the week of Christmas cars were lined up around the block to see the show.
“The turnout has been incredible. Our neightbors are all pleased and supportive. No one has had any blocked driveways. It’s been a fantastic experience for us,” Randy said.
Ann added the family has thought about starting a lighting club in town for fellow aficinados of the coordinated Christmas lighting displays.
The lighting display was also not limited to Christmas as the Morgan did a Halloween show including fog machines.
Randy said he is already working on the layouts for 2020.
“So many people have thanked us…watching people light up, even if were eating or watching TV, hearing people outside with kids laughing, shouting, it’s phenomenal to hear how much enjoy the show.”
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