MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Macon-Bibb Commissioners are finding a way to save Christmas, by adding funding for lights into the 2020 budget. It’s still not the full amount of $200,000 the organizer needs though.
Right now, the budget sits at $164.5 million, and Commissioners say they have an extra $51,000 they need to spend.
Main Street Christmas Light Show Extravaganza organizer Bryan Nichols needs $200,000.
“$200,000 was to maintain it and do some tweaks to it every year. Sponsors, I wanted to see expand it and grow it,” Nichols said.
Commissioner Elaine Lucas said she can’t see spending the whole $51,000 on the lights.
“I would like to see at least half of that money go into that grant program with Macon Arts, so that they can serve a number of community projects,” she said.
Then, a light turned on. Commissioners agreed that the lights are considered art.
“It’s really almost a festival of Christmas lights. It’s sort of how I would characterize it. Most of those organizations are members of the arts round table and we provide marketing assistance for them,” Macon Arts Alliance Executive Director Julie Wilkerson said.
Commissioners approved an amendment to give the $51,000 to the Macon Arts Alliance. The Arts Alliance will give the money to the Main Street Christmas Light Show Extravaganza. If the lights don’t happen, then the Arts Alliance can use the money for other projects.
“I guess the six months of my life will be donated again because I’m going to make sure this continues,” Nichols said.
Nichols has $30,000 in sponsors now. He’s looking for more to fund the lights.