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Nights of Lights open at Guido Gardens
First season without the Sower after 17 years of displays
Guido lights file for Web
In this Herald file photo from 2007, area residents enjoy some of the holiday light displays at Guido Gardens in Metter. The 2009 Christmas Lights display is now open, without the late Michael Guido for the first time. - photo by Herald File
    After 17 years of seeing Dr. Michael Guido smiling at visitors in the sanctuary of Metter's Guido Gardens as they enjoy the Nights of Lights displays, things will be different this year. This will be the 18th year the ministry has offered  public visits to the gardens.
    After Guido passed away last year, his brother Dr. Larry Guido took over the reins and is continuing the tradition, but with changes.
    The Guido Gardens display opened a little earlier this year, due  to public requests, Larry Guido said. The displays began Thanksgiving evening.
    The spectacular lights display that used hundreds of thousands of lights has been altered.     
    "We toned down a lot of the extravagance and lighted up ground effects. It will be brighter but more subdued, if that makes any sense," he said.
    The gardens have "been redesigned and has a totally different ambience. It's magnificent," Larry Guido said.
    The image of the Sower, casting his seeds to the world, is still there, but has been rewired and lit in green and blue, he said. The garden has been rearranged and will offer a new experience to those who visit. In the past, hundreds visited the gardens daily, according to Dr. Michael Guido, who always enjoyed talking about  the message he wanted to send to visitors through his m ministry and his Nights of Lights display at Guido Gardens.
    There will be no special monument or tribute to the late Dr. Michael Guido, his brother said. Possible plans include a videotape being shown in the chapel, he said.
    Guests will still be greeted and given "Seeds from the Sower" packets, and admission is still free, Larry Guido said. The Guido gardens are open nightly from 6 to 9 p.m. and will remain open until Dec. 27, he said.
    Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.
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