Oh, what fun!
This year, Jeff Tell and his family are spreading holiday cheer even further than usual with their new drive-thru lights experience called "Sugar Lane Lights."
The Tell family has been lighting up their own home in far north Fort Worth since 2018 with Tell Family Lights, a synchronized Christmas lights show that annually makes CultureMap's lists of must-see displays. They still plan to host the free event at their 76244 home this year but have expanded their efforts to include Sugar Lane Lights, which they describe as the “sweetest holiday light show in Texas.”
Sugar Lane Lights will be hosted on rented land in Haslet and feature a mile-long drive with 2 million LED lights programmed to shine in sync with upbeat holiday songs. Each light can be changed to over 16 million possible colors, creating a unique holiday show.
Tell says the family worked with Murphy Christmas Lighting, a local Christmas light service company, but otherwise outsourced no help to create the show. The display’s props, configuration, network, sequencing, effects and everything else that went into creating the show was 100 percent designed by the family.
“A lot of these other displays are different,” Tell says of the rarity of their in-house model. “A lot of them are outsourced and kind of pieced together. So the person that owns it, if you ask them how it’s done, they have no idea. So doing this all ourselves, we have full control of everything.”
Tell’s experience as an IT consultant helped him manage the creation of the display. He says he has worked with other companies since 2018 to configure other major lights displays in Texas.
The Sugar Lane Lights display will feature 1,200 props, including a 50-foot tall Christmas tree decorated with 90,000 lights, a 25-foot tall gingerbread house, and a 16-foot tall snowflake. Guests will also be able to purchase battery-charged LED bracelets that are synced to the show’s music.
Tells says his wife, Jennifer, sequenced the show’s effects and programmed the lights to sync with the show’s music. Oftentimes, light shows will sequence all props to be doing the same thing — Sugar Lane Lights didn’t. Each of the eight songs took 180 hours of programming, Tell says.
“The artistic part of it is just going to be a lot more detailed than a lot of the other [shows],” he says.
Prices for the show vary from $30 to $55 per car depending on entry time, and tickets can be purchased online. Entry times are categorized on the website as sweet (no traffic), semi-sweet (light traffic) and toothache (medium to heavy traffic). Tell says the family decided to discount sweet entry times to encourage more people to visit the show during less popular hours and hopefully reduce traffic congestion.
There's a handy FAQ about vehicle height, pets, and more here.
Tell says the family hopes to open the show on Friday, November 18. They'll be open nightly until December 31, 5:30-10 pm on weekdays and 5:30-11 pm on weekends.
Sugar Lane Lights can be found at 12452 Willow Springs Rd., Haslet. (The entrance is directly after the shipping containers, right before the Oasis Church.)