Dispute puts Carroll County Christmas light display in jeopardy

Every year David Nichols and his family spend a couple of months setting up the Nichols Family Light show at their home in Carroll County. There are snowmen, reindeer, nutcrackers, and thousands of twinkling lights.


"I've been married to my beautiful wife for 38 years. We've always done it, I got the Christmas spirit in me and I can't get it out," said David Nichols.

The display is free to anyone who wants to stop by.

"A lot of families don't have the funds to go out and do things like they used to and this doesn't cost them a dime they can enjoy it with their families their kids," said Nichols.

But the lights almost didn't come on this year. There was a complaint. Code enforcement showed up and handed Nichols a notice about mass gatherings and noise violations. Fearing and fines, Nichols posted on social media that he wouldn't be able to do the show this year.

"It was heartbreaking, we've done it so long," said Nichols.

The community immediately came to his defense. They spread the word through social media and they started a petition to save the Nichols Family Light Show. It had hundreds of signatures in the first hour.

"I was shocked and upset. This is a beautiful setup, when this is on and the music is playing it brings joy during a time when we really need it," said Dennis Bates.

"It was disheartening we all got together and said we got to do this, we got to do something to get this back on," said Carol Yarbrough.

The neighbor told FOX 5 she's not a Grinch and never said the display had to stop.  She said she likes the lights, but people were parking in her yard and driveway. She said she's having medical issues and can't rest because the music is so loud she can hear it on the other side of her house.

County officials tried to help settle the dispute. Deputies talked to the neighbor who said she was okay with the display as long as no one parked in her yard and the volume was turned down.

Thursday night, the Nichols Family Light Show was on and the music played a little softer.

"That was the greatest thing, to know there's still families out there and people who stand behind you when you need them to. It brought a tear to my eye," said Nichols.