How to delight in a neighborhood filled with holiday lights while helping 2 Forsyth County families in need

Kimberly Bond
This Ashebrooke home is decorated in colorful lights.Photo byKimberly Bond

(Forsyth County, GA) Looking for the best Christmas lights displays in Forsyth County? Ashebrooke, a large residential neighborhood located on Bethelview Road near the intersection with Kelly Mill Road, should be at the top of your list. Nearly every house boasts festive decorations with twinkling lights, inflatable decorations, nativity scenes, and a few surprises.

“It’s a beautiful time of year and it’s wonderful that all the residents participate,” said an Ashebrooke resident.

This year, Ashebrooke’s Night of Lights will be on Sunday, December 18 beginning at 6:00 pm. More than 300 houses will be twinkling that evening with over 2 million lights, 5,300 luminaries, and even a living nativity. Each year the displays seem to grow more and more elaborate – and it’s all for a good cause.
Festive red and green lights and glowing wreaths light up this Ashebrooke home.Photo byKimberly Bond

Raising money for deserving residents

This will be the 17th year that Ashebrooke’s lights have brought joy to the residents of Forsyth County. Besides spreading holiday cheer, the Ashbrooke Night of Lights is a fundraiser. Visitors offer cash donations to benefit a resident in need or a community organization. Two Ashebrooke residents, Rita Huls and Leigh-Anne Pritz, will be this year’s beneficiaries.

Huls, only eight years old, is fighting a spinal tumor and is currently enrolled in a clinical trial at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA). In her young life, she has already faced scoliosis, spinal surgery, extensive rehabilitation, and chemotherapy. Her cancer, a type of astrocytoma, will likely require treatment for years, leading to high medical bills.

Pritz is fighting another type of cancer - follicular lymphoma, a slow-growing blood cancer with no known cure. Despite her gratitude for the specialized medical care available in and near Forsyth County, Pritz is facing a long and expensive course of immunotherapy.

To give during the Night of Lights, remember to grab your cash and look for the donation buckets distributed throughout the community as you drive through and admire the displays. Organizers are working on other ways to donate, so check the social media page for updates.
A Nativity scene and twinkling lights make this house look jolly.Photo byKimberly Bond

Be a considerate visitor

A huge holiday lights display like Ashebrooke’s is beautiful and inspiring, but it also requires a lot of work. Residents spend hours planning, purchasing, and putting up their displays long before the event. Plus, the large crowds that visit the neighborhood each year can cause traffic jams that require the patience of Saint Nick to navigate. As soon as the sun goes down, some residents face struggles due to the popularity of the lights, usually every night during the month of December.

“It’s exhausting as a resident to encounter lines of traffic when you’re just trying to get home or run errands,” one longtime Ashebrooke resident shared.

Some Ashebrooke residents told NewsBreak that inconsiderate visitors can cause problems. People who hang out the windows or blare music disturb residents trying to go about their evening routines at home. Others drive without lights, putting neighbors and other visitors in danger. One resident recently found her mailbox smashed.
This house, along with 300+ more along the seven-mile route, is sure to fill your car with "JOY."Photo byKimberly Bond

Here are a few suggestions to take in the display of lights without disturbing the residents:

  • Begin the route at the entrance located at 5020 Luke Drive, then go with the flow. Entering from other parts of the neighborhood makes the traffic harder to navigate.
  • Keep noise to a minimum - no need to honk your horn or blast your Mariah Carey for all to hear.
  • Be respectful about timing. Residents say the neighborhood can become crowded as early as 5:00 pm and stay congested until 10:00 pm. Consider arriving later so that residents can get home from school and work.
  • Remember that these are private homes – no trespassing! Enjoy the view from your car instead of hopping out to take selfies and holding up the line.
  • Please follow basic driving safety rules – use your headlights, stop at stop signs, and watch out for pedestrians.
  • Finally, whether you visit during the Night of Lights or on another evening, be patient! Ashebrooke gets very crowded every Christmas season. You know the drive will take a while, so plan accordingly – make your holiday playlist, pack some cocoa and cookies, and enjoy the festive displays.
Keep the Christmas dinosaurs happy by following a few rules while admiring the lights.Photo byKimberly Bond

Despite the challenges, many Ashebrooke residents love that their neighborhood is known for its charitable heart and holiday spirit.
Ashebrooke is top Christmas lights destination in Forsyth County every year.Photo byKimberly Bond

“I especially love seeing the buses from the senior centers come through,” shared one longtime resident. “It just brings me joy.”

Where are your favorite lights displays in and near Forsyth County? Comment below or email to let us know.

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I'm a writer, editor, and journalist with a background in law and science. I love writing about interesting local places and events in Forsyth County, especially new businesses or family-friendly experiences.

Cumming, GA

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