Holiday tradition continues at “Lights of Life”

Q: Does Life University still have their Christmas light show?

A: Yes, the annual "Lights of Life" opened Thanksgiving night.

Life University began in January 1975 with 22 students. Overtime degrees were added and the university is now a full-fledged private university with over 2,700 students.

Dr. Sid E. Williams, Life’s founder, began the “Lights of Life” in 1989. The show allowed the community to come on campus and see a display of Christmas lights for a nominal cost.

“It was a way to give back to the community,” said William Brooks, the communications and marketing manager at Life . “Dr. Sid was big in serving the local community. It is a major tenant of and value of the school, which is what we call ‘Lasting Purpose’ which is to give, to love and to serve, out of a sense of abundance.”

It takes approximately two months to set up the million-plus lights and scenes. Life University provides the funds to operate the light show.

The 1.5-mile drive is a “family-friendly atmosphere and one of the most affordable light shows in the area,” Brooks said.

Follow the line of cars up a small incline to a vendor area. Concessions (limited), pony rides, a petting zoo (two separate areas), a small train and a place to roast marshmallows awaits those wishing to do more. Pictures with Santa take place mainly on the weekends. Prices vary from $5 - $20.

For many, it has become a holiday tradition.

“There are multiple generations that come together to see the lights now,” said Brooks. “Some come from out of state returning to see the lights they saw as a child.”

Approximately 18,000 vehicles drive through “Lights of Life” a year.

“Cars have actually lined up a mile down the road to the Marietta Diner,” he said. “The operators are gracious and honor those in line at closing time.”

There are two entrances that are on opposite sides of the campus: One is from Cobb Parkway or Highway 41 and the other is the South Cobb side. The South Cobb side is less busy, but either of the two entrances can be taken.

The last light show runs on New Year’s Eve. It will take about a month to take everything down.

Hours: Sunday-Thursday: At dark until 9 p.m. and Friday-Saturday: At dark until 10 p.m.

Admission: $10 per car/truck and $20 per bus.

Address: Life University, 1269 Barclay Circle, Marietta.

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