Video and pictures above by Geek Lights on the Corner Facebook Page.
NICEVILLE, Fla. (WKRG) — In the small town of Niceville, everyone is pretty nice, like ‘The Northwest Florida Geek’ Jeff Werner.
“When I talk face to face with people I say I’m not a geek, I’m The Geek.” said Werner.
For more than 14 years, the Geek and his wife Wendy host a free Christmas light extravaganza known as ‘Geek Lights on the Corner,’ GLOTC, for short. The event has grown to more than 5,000 guests every season.
“Year zero it was just for my family,” said Werner. “Wendy tries to put a glow stick in the hands of every kid and we gave out close to two thousand of them last year.”
GLOTC is a nearly thirty-minute light show on the corner of Bluewater Blvd and Antiqua Way in Bluewater Bay. The display has animatronic trains, toys and synchronized lights. The show runs multiple times every night from Nov. 29 through Jan. 6.
“We encourage people to bring their blankets, bring their lawn chairs, bring hot chocolate, bring popcorn, bring your dog,” said Werner. “Some people spread their blanket out and stay for two or three performances they like it so much.”
The light show broke a record in 2020 by raising more than $7,000 for a local charity Crisis Ais for Littles and Moms (CALM), a non-profit dedicated to helping women and children of Northwest Florida. GLOTC will again give 100% of the donations to CALM this season.
“We believe very deeply in Calm’s mission in helping single moms with kids,” said Werner.
The first show Monday night might not have all of the pieces up and running. “The toys are very popular with the kids,” said Werner. Like Santa, Werner is hard at work double-checking his to-do list and making changes.
“You would think we didn’t have animated lights and we were just a train show, said Werner. “I am going to do my best to have the trains up and running by the weekend.”
“We call the light show where technology meets the true meaning of Christmas.’Jeff Werner ‘The Geek’
GLOTC begins every 30 minutes starting at 6:00 p.m., with the last show starting at 9:30 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, and 10:30 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Christmas Eve.
“We have often told people ‘how many people get to watch other people’s kids in their front yard during the Christmas season,” said an emotional Werner. “People come to us and they tell us this has been going on for 14 years and BIlly here is only 10 years old he doesn’t know a Christmas without the Geek lights ‘you are our Christmas tradition.'”
“We can’t ever stop doing this,” said Werner. “People rely on this show to be there. That gives us such a good feeling that ‘we are Christmas.'”
KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:
Werner asks those coming by to please park and walk to the display area, it is not a drive-thru event. There is parking along Blue Water Bay as well as a golf cart lane available to use.
If you need any assistance (wheelchairs, strollers, etc.) you can contact Werner ahead of time on the Facebook page.
If you are bringing a big car full, do not drop off people in front of the house. Werner asks those to drive past the driveway and drop off guests to not disturb those already at the show.
The show can be canceled in bad weather. Werner says to check the Facebook page for daily updates on the show.