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Georgia Chick-fil-A covers store with 500,000 lights to spread hope at Christmas

J-P Mauro - published on 12/15/21

People come from miles around to see the store.

A Chick-fil-A in the town of Athens, Georgia, is taking Christmas decorating to the next level. The makers of Aleteia’s 2020 pick for best Lenten fish sandwich have set up a staggering amount of Christmas lights in 2021. Just about every inch of the store’s facade, besides the doors, have been lit by the soft glow of holiday spirit.

According to Insider, the Athens Chick-fil-A Christmas display began in 2015 and has grown each year. Store operator Alex Clark reportedly began the tradition as a throwback to his childhood, when his family would drive around looking for the best residential Christmas light shows. Now that he’s older, he’s making it easier than ever for families to get a great holiday light show.

Over the last seven years, Clark has been slowly adding lighting elements to the design. What started as modest holiday lighting has now evolved into a full scale attraction, drawing folks from miles around to stare in wonder from the drive-thru line. 

The lights cover the building, but they’ve also spread out to climb the trees and curl through the bushes. Now, there’s barely a spot left on the property that is not illuminated once the sun goes down. The spectacular exhibit is even cooler from an aerial view, which Chick-fil-A Athens captured on film with a drone

In a Facebook post, Chick-fil-A noted that Clark continues his annual lighting tradition, which he calls “Lights of Athens,” in order to spread hope in the Christmas season. Clark has stated that he considers the display to be a gift for customers and the town of Athens.

Clark told Insider that the pandemic has made this message of hope all the more important: 

“The pandemic certainly inspired us to go bigger and better,” he said. “People need hope and we want the Lights of Athens to remind them of the Hope that is always available to them.”

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