The Richardson Light Show consists of over 100,000 LED lights, inflatables, and wire-framed decorations.
The Richardson Light Show consists of over 100,000 LED lights, inflatables, and wire-framed decorations.
MADISON — A popular Christmas light show on Sundial Road that attracts thousands of visitors each year is being called a nuisance by some neighbors and they are asking for the city to prohibit the event going forward.  

The Richardson Light Show, located at 219 Sundial Road, features over 100,000 lights and hundreds of inflatables and wire-framed decorations. The show began nearly 20 years ago and kicks off each Thanksgiving and lasts until around the end of December.  

Eddy Edwards, an attorney who lives two houses down from the Richardsons, asked the Mayor and Board of Aldermen on Tuesday to declare the light show a public nuisance and prohibit it this year and in the future.  

“It’s grown so big that we subject to you that it’s now an annoyance, a nuisance in our neighborhood,” Edwards told the board. “Now it’s billed publicly as a public attraction.”

Edwards said Sundial is a quiet residential neighborhood not fit for such an attraction.

He argued that in 2008 when Sundial was annexed by the city, an overlay ordinance was adopted that said “nothing shall be done on any property which may become an annoyance or nuisance to the neighborhood.”

In addition, Edwards said there are city ordinances and state laws that define what a nuisance is and the light show falls into that category.  

“It’s grown to a character and size that is not reasonable for a quiet, peaceful neighborhood,” he said. “We’ve got thousands — and thousands is the right word — of vehicles, included buses, that come through Sundial every night from Thanksgiving to December.”

Edwards said the event is entered into contests and suggested that a film crew would be in town this November disrupting the neighborhood for another 3-4 days this year.  

Edwards said residents deal with a number of issues, from traffic and loud music to people turning around in driveways at all hours of the night.  

Dr. Ralph Didlake, another Sundial resident, said the light show poses a public safety health hazard.  

Didlake said the first 30 minutes are critical in a number of cases ranging from stroke to heart attack and the traffic could impact first responders.  

“There’s absolutely no way we can get first responders in and out of Sundial in a 30-minute timeframe,” he said. “Based on my training, practice and experience, the Richardson Light Show constitutes a public safety hazard.”

The Richardsons were present Tuesday night and were given an opportunity to speak but did not.  

On Wednesday, Carol and Mike Richardson both expressed disappointment with the matter.

“We’re just very disappointed we have a few neighbors that seem to have an issue with the display,” Carol said. “We have approached them and tried to work out the issues.”

Carol said they mapped out a new route this year with the police department to alleviate traffic issues and thought the matter had been resolved.

She said they have made a sizable investment over the years and that this was “our gift back to the community.”

The board took the matter under advisement but made no formal decision to deny the show.