Tracy man puts on annual animated holiday light show to benefit people in need

TRACY, Calif. (KGO) -- Tom BetGeorge, of Tracy, is making spirits very bright this holiday season. In fact, he is making it so bright that you can see his holiday light display from the Altamont Pass.

"My favorite thing about the light show is we have eight beams that can be seen for at least eight to twenty miles in each direction, said Tom BetGeorge, Creator and Founder of Magical Light Shows. "When the show starts and you see those beams people from the Altamont, which is the mountains outside of Tracy and all the way to Manteca. People can see that the show is on."

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For the past seven years, BetGeorge has created a custom animated light show made of coroplast and pixels and it is all for a good cause.

The magical light show is set to music and a storyline. This year's storyline is based on humor and the "bigger meaning of Christmas."

"This is actually a year long process, without exaggeration I start programming in January through most of the year," said BetGeorge. "This year's show by itself took about 400 hundred hours to program."

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BetGeorge's elaborate light display started as a hobby and overtime turned into a lucrative business. Originally, he was a concert pianist and music producer for film, but had a love of electronic engineering. He combined all of his talents to "create a magical experience."
"Magical Light Shows is the name of my company that accidentally formed. It all started a few years back when I put up some videos of my house on YouTube," said BetGeorge. "Before I knew it, all these theme parks, churches, and commercial buildings asked for me to do light shows for them. The fun thing is when people are coming, they are seeing something that is in a theme park somewhere across the world but they are watching it for free."

When BetGeorge moved to Tracy in 2015, he wanted to find a way to give back to his community. The holiday light display collects donations for the McHenry House Tracy Family Shelter and a Brighter Christmas of Tracy, that provides food and toys to families in need.

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This year, the Magical Light Show will play popular children songs, songs from The Weeknd, and a song BetGeorge dedicated to his wife, "Titanium" by David Guetta ft. Sia.

"This year my favorite song by Sia and David Guetta, "Titanium," said BetGeorge. "The reason why I use that song is because it talks about being bulletproof. My wife this year during pregnancy suffered a catastrophic stroke which was obviously terrifying. She survived and she is the strongest person that I have ever met in my life. She is quite remarkable."

In the past, 1,000 - 3,000 people visit the light show a night. Amid the coronavirus pandemic, BetGeorge encourages social distancing when visiting the show. For those who are not able leave home, you can view the entire show on the Magical Light Shows YouTube Page.

""It has always been important to me to create a show for the community. This year, I feel that it is more critical than ever," said BetGeorge. "When I see people really enjoying themselves, it is kind of surprising because I am just doing this fun. Knowing that I am able to provide that kind of show for people is really awesome."

The light show takes place Friday - Sunday, at 6 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. The last day to see the show is Christmas Day.
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