Wild Lights KY spreads holiday spirit, supports good cause in Jessamine Co.

WATCH | Jessamine County teen creates light show for smiles and to give back
Published: Nov. 26, 2022 at 10:45 PM EST
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NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (WKYT) - One Jessamine County teenager is putting his love of lights on display for people of all ages to enjoy.

Zachary Nielson began using his love of electricity spread some holiday cheer in the community at just 10 years old. Now 16, Nielson’s fifth edition of Wild Lights KY is not just about putting on a good show, but also supporting some of Jessamine County’s most vulnerable people.

Nielson has been stringing together bulbs and building props since the summer to put on this powerful display.

“It makes me really happy to see people with their family, smiling…dancing to the music, writing their letters to Santa,” said Nielson, who started the event in 2016.

Anchored by a 20-foot-tall guitar, this year’s theme is called ‘Light Wave,’ “to spread Jesus’s word through light and a positive impact through Christmas,” Nielson said.

That wave Nielson has created makes for a fun family atmosphere and shines a light on the struggles of those who are less fortunate this winter by taking donations for the Jessamine County Homeless Coalition.

Johnny Templin founded the coalition, which is aiding dozens of people at its newly opened center of growth and hope on Main Street.

He says Nielson’s holiday spirit and generosity will surely lift the spirits of those at his shelter.

“These people know things are donated,” said Templin, who also serves as the executive director. “But when they see somebody giving their time. Whether it’s sitting down and eating a meal with them, talking to them or coming to cook, or something like what Zach did - it’s the community letting them know that they still matter.”

Nielson says the show lasts around 35 to 40 minutes and will go on from 5:30 to 11 every night into the new year. In a post to social media, he announced that they raised $170 for the coalition on opening night.