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.
504 Holly Street, Kill Devil Hills
The Johnson Family has lights, Christmas music and snow falling every hour from 6 to 10 p.m. Have the kids walk up the Candy Cane lighted path and put a letter/ Christmas lists for Santa in The Red Mail Box located by the street. Guests can also drop new toys in the Toys for Tots box.
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.
West Sportsman Drive, Kill Devil Hills
A yard filled with inflatables and other holiday fun.
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.
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. Celebrating the display’s 10th anniversary, stroll garden paths alongside blooming camellias under a canopy of the stars for a magical holiday experience.
Sponsored by Southern Bank and the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, the radiant glow of the gardens, traditional holiday décor and fantastical displays are an Outer Banks holiday tradition.
Festive trees grace Odom Hall. A crackling open-air fire warms the Great Lawn. Seasonal gift shop and plant sales coincide. Seasonal gift shop and plant sales coincide.
Admissions for adults $11, Youth (ages 6-17) $9, Child (5 and under) $6, dogs are welcome for $2.
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
This year’s theme is” It’s the most wonderful time of the year” We are Holding down the Northern most part of the north eastern North Carolina NC tacky Christmas light tour😎 Hope you can make the trip soon🎄🎅🏻 more video soon😃@SamWalkerOBX @OBXtoday pic.twitter.com/e0IyPPmKaW
— Corolla Christmas house (@corollaxmashome) November 30, 2020
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.
This year’s theme is “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”.
See how they get ready for the show, and some of their new additions, on their Facebook page.
In their 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 programmed 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
“We are extremely excited this year to give everyone the 2020 dances bay Christmas light show this year because we believe that it will bring a light to everyone during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Nathan McKecuen, who handles the Dances Bay Christmas Light Show Facebook page and has one of the largest displays in the neighborhood.
Featuring over ten houses of lights in the neighborhood that do a good amount of decorating and then three houses side-by-side that really go all out with almost one million lights at one house alone.
At one home in the neighborhood they have a old 1940s pick up truck with a Christmas tree out the back, as well as their whole house and 30+ trees fully decorated.
Another home has an out-of-service antique fire truck that is decorated for Christmas as well as a 40-foot-tall Santa Claus lighthouse that cannot be found anywhere else but here at our light display.
This is a drive-through display, with one way in and one way out through through the neighborhood to see the homes, and they have a pull-off area to get out of your vehicle to walk through certain designated walkways for photo opportunities.
Due to the coronavirus, they require masks and social distancing to walk through the displays.
“[We hope it] will bring a light of joy and happiness to everyone when they come to our display our goal this year is no one leaves our Christmas light display without the filling of Christmas,” McKecuen said.
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)