A proponent of the RIchardson Light Show holds up a sign which reads “Don’t be a Grinch” as Eddy Edwards, an opponet of the residential light show, gives an interview to reporters in front of City Hall on Tuesday.
A proponent of the RIchardson Light Show holds up a sign which reads “Don’t be a Grinch” as Eddy Edwards, an opponet of the residential light show, gives an interview to reporters in front of City Hall on Tuesday.
MADISON — The Richardson Light Show will continue on Sundial Road following approval of a special event permit by the Mayor and Board of Aldermen Tuesday night, despite efforts by some neighbors to have the operation declared a public nuisance.

Residents packed City Hall to show their support for the light show, some even wearing Santa Claus hats and Christmas clothes.

The board took no comments from members of the audience after having given both sides an opportunity to speak at the Oct. 3 board meeting.

Aldermen then voted 4-0, with two abstentions and one alderman absent, to declare the light show was not a public nuisance and to issue a special event permit for both the event and commercial filming to take place Nov. 6-9.

Aldermen Ken Jacobs and Mike Hudgins abstained and Alderman Guy Bowering was absent.

“I am for the lights,” Ward 1 Alderman Tawanna Tatum said.

Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler said since the city discussed the issue at length with counsel, the police department and fire department over legal and safety concerns.

“We have tried to — I have — mediate, come up with a solution and I’m sorry that we could not shake hands and say ‘that sounds good,’” Hawkins-Butler said. “With much study and much counsel, we’ve come to a conclusion.”

Eddy Edwards, an attorney who lives two houses down from the Richardsons on Sundial Road, was the main opponent of the light show. He asked the city on Oct. 3 to declare the light show a public nuisance, arguing that traffic and safety concerns abound as a result of the holiday event.

Edwards said he wasn’t against the light show, he was just against it in the neighborhood.

“I think there’s been a severe misconception we want to stop the light show,” he said to reporters outside City Hall Tuesday. “We want the light show moved to a public place where there can be access to the public.”

Edwards, who has been labeled the “Grinch” by some, said, “I’ve been called worse.”

He said a new traffic plan put together for the event will cause further traffic problems on Hoy Road, Tisdale Road and Rice Road.

Edwards said since 2014, the light show has grown much larger and the Richardson family began entering it into competitions. He said they are competing for $50,000 in a contest this year.

“That is not a neighborhood light show,” he said. “That is somebody trying to profit off what they’re doing.”

When asked what the next course of action was, Edwards said, “We haven’t decided yet, but there will be one.” He didn’t rule out filing a lawsuit.

The Richardson Light Show is located at 219 Sundial Road and features over 100,000 lights and hundreds of inflatables and wire-framed decorations. It began nearly 20 years ago.