Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020 - 59

Wonderlands year-round. In 2019, the
electronic productions, which feature
hundreds of thousands of LED lights
flashing to the rhythm of the music
along a designated route, took place in
Tennessee (Sevierville and Jackson) and
North Carolina (Charlotte and Tryon), as
well as Birmingham, Alabama, and Butler, Pennsylvania.
Approximately 10 employees design,
build, wire and program the displays and
serve as show managers in each city. To
support the individual communities,
Shadrack hires large teams of locals to assist. They also donate to neighborhood
nonprofits such as Relay for Life and the
Ronald McDonald House. In the past
seven years alone, the Glovers have given
$800,000 to the charities.
The three family members are crosstrained on all facets of the business, from
cleaning toilets to designing and setting
up shows. Hale's primary job, however, is
marketing. Josh handles operations. And
their dad, who "oversees the big stuff,"
now concentrates mostly on writing music and programming the lights. It takes
six weeks to erect a show's infrastructure;
after the event closes the first weekend in
January, it takes four more to tear everything down-and all this after hundreds
of hours of computer programming that
starts in the summer.
To enjoy the show, visitors tune into
a low-frequency radio station and are instantly immersed in a sea of light, color
and sound. Most of the animated displays
follow themes-Twelve Days of Christmas, for example, or Santa's Beach Party-
that rotate every few years to keep the experience fresh.
When it comes to the imaginative designs, Hale says, "It really is a family effort.
We sit and brainstorm these things. Josh
will say something and then I'll take it in
a different direction, or Dad will. It's just
a roundtable topic until we land on something that makes us all smile."
Public feedback has been enormous,
she says. "It's sort of like 'wow.' You can
actually hear them out the window. Some
people have come so many times they can
sing along to some of our music that they
wouldn't otherwise know."
Wrote one guest via social media, "I
took my 4-year-old daughter. Just to hear
her reaction was priceless. It brought tears

The three family members are crosstrained on all facets of the business,
from cleaning toilets to designing
and setting up shows.
3 THINGS MIKKI GLOVER HALE LOVES ABOUT
HER FAMILY'S LIGHT SHOWS
THE RGB TUNNEL.
"The tunnel is one of the things that people can't get enough of," Hale says. "It's
all RGB-red, green and blue-and it can be programmed to do any color, any
sequence, anything we want it to do. You sit in it and it's mesmerizing." (The company also sells customized tunnels that can be set up in a few hours.)
COLOR WASHES.
Appearing in multiple colors for most of the show, the lights occasionally sync
to highlight a single hue. "Those are very brief, but I love it when it does the color
sweep and everywhere you look is that color for just a second or maybe one beat
in the music, or two or three," says Hale. "It's neat after you've had all the colors
going."
THE HUMOROUS DISPLAYS.
"Most of them have a comical element, and I like that they make me chuckle,"
Hale says. Even so, she adds, "Most everything we do is Christmas-based, not holiday. It's not that we're intolerant of other people's beliefs. It's not that at all. It's just
that we celebrate Christmas for Christ."				
-NH

As we go to press, the Sevierville, Tennessee Shadrack's Christmas Wonderland is a go.

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020

59



Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020

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Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020 - Cover1
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Blue Ridge Country November/December 2020 - Cover3
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