HAMILTON, Ga. (WRBL) – There are ordinary Christmas light displays, and then there are exceptional ones like Larry Dorne’s “Listen to These Lights” display. This year, which will be its sixth, Dorne’s show will feature about 32 songs synchronized to lights, real flame throwers, videos on HD monitors and smoke machines.
“The show lasts and runs about 140 minutes,” Dorne said.
Dorne said he tried making the show shorter but had a difficult time with this because he liked the songs. His son helped him pick songs this year. Dorne said he tried to make the show more kid-friendly.
“Kids got a short attention span, so I tried to shorten the songs to three minutes, put more music that’s more relatable to kids but at the same time make sure it’s holiday-related music,” he said.
Dorne said he includes a wide variety of musical genres in his show. A lot of visitors seem to like music by Korean boy band BTS. Music is played out loud all days of the week, but it’s quieter on weekdays. Visitors can tune their radios to 101.1 FM to listen to music in their vehicles.
The light show’s name, “Listen to These Lights,” is based on how the music compliments the lights.
“And I have the singing trees,” Dorne said. “They’re singing. It’s got a fun little tree over there on one side and then the four over there. They’re backup singers.”
Besides his lightshow, Dorne’s other hobby is setting up home audio. He said this is what inspired him to put up video monitors. Last year, “Listen to These Lights” featured only one 50-inch monitor. This year, it will feature two 50-inch monitors, one 40-inch monitor and a 65-inch monitor.
“I noticed kids love technology,” Dorne said. “So, you know, with the video deal and the lights going with it and then the flamethrowers, that just gives them more to watch … At the same time, adults will kind of relate to it and enjoy it at the same time.”
This year, Dorne will be collecting hygiene items, nonperishable food and money for FOCUS Ministries in Hamilton, a faith-based nonprofit organization that supports Harris County residents in need. He will announce on his Facebook page, Listentotheselights Multimedia Inc., when he will accept hygiene items and food. He said money can be donated any night.
Dorne started setting up musically synchronized light shows in 2017
“But before that, I used to do a static display,” he said. “A static display is just lights outside. You just plug them up, and you’ve got reindeer. You’ve got lights all over the place.”
He said he was initially inspired by a commercial he saw.
“I don’t know if you remember, but Miller had a commercial back in the day where they had the lights, you know, blinking and dancing at the Miller place up in Wisconsin … I saw that, and I said, ‘That’s pretty cool,’” he said. “I thought it was fictional. I was like, ‘There’s no way in the world they could actually do that.’ Then I found out by watching a show on ABC called ‘The Great Christmas Light Fight’ that it is possible.”
Dorne said his son was watching the program with him when he asked Dorne if he could do his own Christmas light show. Dorne said he could try. In the beginning, he wasn’t sure what he was doing, but he said he learned quickly. He said setting up the show is fun, although it can be time consuming.
While his wife and son help him set up lights occasionally, Dorne said he usually does most of the work, himself. This year, two seniors from Harris County High School, Reese Bowden and Damian Cosby, installed the lights on his house.
Dorne’s light show is located at 766 Sweetbay Parkway in Hamilton. This year, it will start on Thanksgiving night at 6 p.m. Dorne said it usually runs from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on weekdays. On weekends, it will run until about 10 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. The show will have its final run on New Year’s Day.
It will only involve pyrotechnics on Fridays and Saturdays, weather permitting.
Dorne asks that no one walk on his family’s property because of electrical and data cables throughout the yard. He also asks that they not park on anyone’s grass or block driveways.
For updates, visit Listentotheselights Multimedia Inc. on Facebook.