MACON, Ga. — Downtown Macon's newest holiday tradition will be back this year, but it will look a little different.
For the last three years, businessman Bryan Nichols has put on his Main Street Christmas Lights Extravaganza on Poplar Street.
This year, Nichols says that the pandemic has changed some things, but the show must go on.
"We'll be adding some stuff and taking some stuff away," Nichols said. "Last year we had interactive stuff for kids to be able to push buttons and see the big bright lights and things of that nature, but this year of course we won't have any of that and we won't have the live reindeer, which everybody looks forward to and we hate to get rid of."
He says that although he wants the show to be interactive, safety comes first.
"We're also going to be adding it over a radio station, so that the elderly and medically fragile can still come and enjoy the Christmas lights with their families by driving around or parking and just listening to it on their radio," he said.
The opening night live concert by the Macon Pops will also look different, and the crowd will be smaller than in previous years.
Steve Moretti, the co-founder and drummer of Macon Pops, says that the most important thing to him is just making sure people can experience this moment.
"Knowing that people are watching us and taking part in this now huge tradition, that's what matters to me. It'll make me feel just as good to be able to still provide music to the community, as long as the community can be connected through technology and in person," Moretti said.
Both Nichols and Moretti say they are doing everything they can to make sure this year's show is just as great as previous years.
"We want people to feel safe, but at the same time enjoy the Christmas lights and the holiday season with their family," Nichols said.
"Things always work out, right? No matter what stress comes along the way. It always ends up working out," Moretti said.
Nichols says he plans to follow the CDC's guidelines and recommendations.
The show this year runs from November 27 through January 3. There will be four music-and-light shows a night starting at 6 p.m. and ending at 10 p.m.