The Richmond Tacky Lights are a holiday tradition where local homes decorate with over-the-top, mega-wattage displays.

It’s free, you can do it yourself and anybody can enjoy the lights. You just have to know where to find them.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch has been compiling the Tacky Lights list for 30 years.

It all started in 1985, when Richmond DJ Mad Dog Gottlieb booked a Winn Transportation bus for a “tacky lights” tour of 10 to 12 houses. The tour was a huge hit.

Initially, houses had to have 10,000 lights to make the list. But every year, the displays got bigger. Now, houses must have 40,000 lights to get on the list.

A few things to note this year:

9215 Venetian Way, a popular spot known as “lights across the water” in western Henrico County, has decided to retire from the Tacky Lights Tour.

The homeowners took last year off from the tour after a death in the family and have decided to retire the light show.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this Richmond tradition for the past 15 years, but I guess all good things must come to an end,” Henry Thedieck said. “Our family enjoyed bringing Christmas cheer to the Richmond community.”

Donnie Leake’s home at 5494 Smithy Court in Mechanicsville also won’t be part of the Tacky Lights Tour this year. The bright house with lots of old-school blow molds and a fun theme drew lots of fans. Leake said he might return to the tour next year.

But there are plenty of houses to see in the Richmond area.

Mr. Christmas at 2300 Wistar Court has already been lit up for a week. His neighbor at 2302 Wistar Court has a pretty impressive display as well.

On Asbury Court, the owners of 9604 and 9606 are planning to light up both houses this year, as in years past.

In Glen Allen, 9716 Wendhurst Drive will have its grand illumination at 5:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving. The event draws close to 200 people every year. Santa will also make an appearance on the roof when the lights come on. The house now has more than 180,000 lights.

GardenFest of Lights at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden has been open for a week, due to the lateness of Thanksgiving.

Most of the houses on the Tacky Lights list are lighting up Thanksgiving weekend, with a few more in the first week of December.

Here’s who’s lighting up for Thanksgiving weekend

Already lit

2300 Wistar Court (western Henrico)

2302 Wistar Court (western Henrico)

Thursday

1063 Adkins Road (North Chesterfield)

8602 Anderson Court (Mechanicsville)

9604 & 9606 Asbury Court (western Henrico)

4361 Collingswood Drive (Chesterfield)

2814 W. Grace St. (Richmond)

8400 Highland Glen Drive (Chesterfield)

7396 Kelshire Trace (Mechanicsville)

3307 Kensington Ave. (Museum District)

236 N. New Ave. (Mechanicsville)

1411 Pennsylvania Ave. (Glen Allen)

7014 Poteet Lane (new to the list, Mechanicsville)

8720 River Road (western Henrico)

1339 Robindale Road (Chesterfield)

8265 Softwind Court (Mechanicsville)

7703 Strath Road (Varina)

3325 Warner Road (Richmond)

6387 Wedgewood Road (Mechanicsville)

9716 Wendhurst Drive (Glen Allen)

Friday

13404 Dyson Trail Circle (Ashland)

1902 Haviland Drive (new to the list, western Henrico)

9213 Holbrook Drive (western Henrico)

8124 Kiwi Lane (Mechanicsville)

2216 Millcrest Terrace (Chesterfield)

8402 Weldon Drive (western Henrico)

Saturday

10154 Carol Anne Road (Chesterfield)

600 Coralview Terrace (Chesterfield)

9328 Coleson Road (Glen Allen)

12618 Dawnridge Court aka “Christmas Court” (Chesterfield)

1925 W. Laburnum Ave. (Richmond)

6444 Little Sorrel Drive (Mechanicsville)

7267 Marimel Lane (Mechanicsville)

2169 Oakhampton Place (western Henrico)

9625 Peppertree Drive (western Henrico)

13914 Walnut Creek Road (Brandermill)

Sunday

4710 Croft Circle (new to the list, Glen Allen)

3209 Hanover Ave. (Museum District)

408 S. Laurel St. (Oregon Hill)

10271 Matthews Grove Lane (Mechanicsville)

2503 Pine Grove Drive (western Henrico)

3936 Round Hill Court (Chesterfield)

4233 Spring Run Road (Mechanicsville)

4371 Spring Run Road (Mechanicsville)

1315 Walton Creek Drive (Chesterfield)

10288 Wanchese Way (Mechanicsville)

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ccurran@timesdispatch.com (804) 649-6151 Twitter: @collcurran

Colleen Curran covers arts and entertainment for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. She writes the weekly column Top Five Weekend Events.

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