Tacky lights tour awes Fullerton spectators

In Arts & Entertainment
Courtesy of Kayli Craig
Courtesy of Kayli Craig

Twinkling Christmas lights f licker on and off to the beat of festive tunes as passersby ring in their holiday spirit.

The “Tacky Lights Tours,” a country-wide elaborate light display, has made its way back to Fullerton. The free spectacle is located at 1601 N. Mountain View.

The corner house is decorated with Christmas spirit as snowf lakes adorn the roof, evergreen trees of all sizes cover the grass, ornaments garnish the street’s landscape and candy canes align walkways.

The lights dance in sync to the music. The impressive display shows off the tour’s expertise as it delivers an over-the-top, “not your everyday” Christmas presentation.

The Mountain View home has outdoor speakers for passersby. However, if the weather becomes too cold to handle, you can simply enjoy the warmth in your car and tune your radio to 88.9 where the show will be broadcasted.

The glimmering lights perform to a variety of music including traditional Christmas carols, classical rock and even electro-dance.

“It was nice to see something different,” said Brett Carrico, 24, a reserve firefighter at Station 41 in Fullerton. Carrico said he usually goes to the light show in La Mirada, but wanted to check out other light shows this year as well.

The Christmas Light Show runs every 15 minutes, replaying one to three songs at a time.

After the 15-minute time segment, the song playlist changes. The show starts at 5:30 p.m. and ends at 10:30 p.m. each night.

Ryan Elhers, 25, and his girlfriend, Brooke Roy, 24, both experienced their first Tacky Lights Tour.

“For the amount of room they are working with, they did a lot with it. Overall, it was good.” Elhers said.

Brooke said she although she was expecting more, she still thought it was fun and would definitely return next year.

The Tacky Lights Tour dates back to 1882 when Edward H. Johnson, Thomas Edison’s assistant, decorated his Christmas tree with 80 walnut-sized, hand-wired lights three days before Christmas, according the show’s website.

Johnson, who soon became vice president of Edison Electric Light Company, helped tacky light décor spread throughout the nation. This new phenomena led to the weatherproof Christmas lights in the 1960s. Americans were now able to hang lights on the outside of their homes for others to see.

The fun and festive tradition of the Tacky Lights Tour began in 1986 in Richmond, Va., also known as “the tacky lights capital of the world.” Barry Gottlieb packed his busses full, turned on the radio and toured the “tacky,” but fully illuminated houses. Just a year later, Gottlieb had two buses and 11 homes to view on his tour.

In 1986, Tacky Light Houses had to meet a 10,000 light requirement. Today, houses across the country participate with a minimum requirement of 40,000 lights. Participants are left to their own imagination because there are no restrictions on how they must decorate their house.

Most homes in the Tacky Lights Tour use LED lights, that are not only brighter but also have a longer lifetime and an energy savings of 90 percent

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