Looking for the best Christmas light displays on the Outer Banks and in northeastern North Carolina? Then jump on OBX Today’s Tacky Light Tour.
The Tacky Light Tour has all the biggest and brightest Christmas light set-ups, all in one place, with an interactive map showing how to find all the best lights from Wanchese to Windsor, Mattamuskeet to Moyock.
There is one major change for this year, as the Poulos family will not be lighting the Outer Banks Christmas House in Kill Devil Hills.
Jim and Ann Poulos had been lighting their home on Ocean Acres Drive for the last four decades. After Jim died in March following Ann’s passing in 2018, their daughters said they plan to resume the tradition in 2021.
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206 Clamshell Drive, Kill Devil Hills
The Mennicucci family has been decorating their Kill Devil Hills home for Christmas “flashy, loud and obnoxiously” for about a decade. But a few years into it, they decided to give the community more than the gift of lights.
Six years ago, they began collecting donations of nonperishables and money for the Beach Food Pantry from those who stopped by the Christmas display at 206 Clamshell Drive.
Last year, they counted 1,206 cars and collected $1,182 and 518 pounds of food, doubling the amount collected in 2018.
“I can’t tell you how many people have donated and said ‘the pantry was there for me when I needed them,’” Deborah Mennicucci said.
The Mennicucci family, owners of Hands of Gold Contracting and keepers of Wesley’s Little Red Mailbox in Kitty Hawk, hope to collect much more this year in their annual effort to give back to the community.
The lights display, timed to music, begins at sundown on Thanksgiving and continues through Dec. 31. Donations are collected through Dec. 24.
“We want to get as many donations as we can,” Deborah said.
The show features about 70,000 lights timed to dance to about 13 songs. The display is separated into 48 zones that can be programmed to blink and twinkle in myriad ways.
David Mennicucci starts working on the display each year about mid-October and “literally will come home early from work today and finish up,” his wife said Wednesday morning.
The family estimated the show takes about 150 to 200 hours of worth of work each year.
“We just love it,” Deborah said. “Come Thanksgiving night, seeing all the kids smiling.”
The light show is on every night from dusk until about 9 p.m., later on the weekend, weather permitting. Tune your radio to 107.9 FM when you arrive.
“We have our hearts with the Poulus Family this year and pray they are able to rejoin the Tacky Light Tour next year,” Deborah said.
OBX Today Tacky Light Tour best-of-the-rest, which we will be adding to all season long:
5111 Lunar Drive, Kitty Hawk
Tucked in a quiet neighborhood, the house offers colorful lights and glowing inflatables.
Aviation Park, Kill Devil Hills Town Hall, Veterans Drive
The frog pond at Aviation Park is decorated with festive lights, reflecting off the water for an especially nice effect.
Downtown Manteo, Roanoke Island Festival Park
Manteo gets all dressed up for Christmas, with lights twinkling on boats at the marina, strung between buildings and wrapped in trees. Across Shallowbag Bay shines the Elizabeth II at Roanoke Island Festival Park, lined in white lights.
959 Wingina Ave., Manteo
It’s a Dillon Christmas on Wingina Avenue in Manteo. Lights timed to music, with additions every year. Check out the family’s Facebook page at It’s a Dillon Christmas.
Elizabethan Gardens Winter Lights
Stroll along enchanted garden paths and discover the joy of the season with holiday lights, sights and sounds transforming The Elizabethan Gardens into an illuminated winter wonderland. The radiant glow of the gardens, traditional holiday décor and fantastical displays are a true spectacle to behold. Festive trees grace the Gatehouse and Reception Hall and a crackling open-air fire warms the Great Lawn. Seasonal gift shop and plant sales coincide. Adults $11, Youth (ages 6-17) $9, Child (5 and under) $6.
Manns Harbor Post Office
An elaborate display set to music lights up the night in Manns Harbor, with houses across the street decked out in their Christmas best, too. Worth a drive over the bridge.
Corolla Christmas House
The Cox family long entertained visitors with their computerized Christmas light show in Colington Harbour. Now they are doing the same thing on an even-bigger scale right along N.C. 12 in Corolla.
In the 13th year, the Umphletts have been lighting up the yard at 118 Woodhouse Drive and giving back to Currituck. Stop by and see 70,000 lights programes to music on over 140 segments. Lights are on now through Jan. 4 nightly from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Dances Bay Christmas Light Show, Weeksville
Dances Bay Christmas Lights is a local neighborhood run Christmas light display outside Elizabeth City. Past neighbors, the Horn family, started the display 10 years ago but sadly had to move away after the tradition grew.
Now they feature multiple houses of lights which includes two houses that go all out and a lot of surrounding houses that decorate as well. The first night is November 26, through January 1. The Christmas lights are on 7 days a week from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Hoggard Christmas Wonderland of Lights, Windsor
What started as a tribute to Carolyn Hoggard, who died in an accident on the way to school in 1991, has turned into one of the biggest displays in eastern N.C. Visitors from as far away as Washington D.C. and Atlanta make the trek each year to Windsor to see the over 500,000 individual lights.
The Outer Banks Christmas House, Ocean Acres Drive, Kill Devil Hills (on hiatus)
This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.