Driving around to look at Christmas lights is something most everyone likes to do this time of year. There are some creative and spectacular displays in Middle Tennessee, but one that should be on you to-see list are located 1956 Sunnyside Drive in Brentwood. Bill Minneci is in his 34th year of putting on the display which not only covers his front yard but also several other neighboring houses as well. The display features over 135,000 lights and more than 300 lighted figures.
Minneci and his son, BJ, started the display in 1982 with BJ always saying that they needed more lights. That they did and it has grown into a fabulous display it has become today. After BJ was tragically killed in an automobile accident in 1993, Minneci continued the display in BJ’s memory.
The display is nicely situation at the end of the street in a cul-de-sac where you can park and walk the long drive to see the display. The display is free but there is a donation box for the Shriner’s Hospital. They collected over $8,000 last year. Minneci does not make any money to pay for the lights. He says it is his gift to the community and to the children. He will often greet you along side Snow, his Samoyed dog. Santa will also make a visit the week before Christmas giving out candy canes.
Planning for the next year’s display begins the day he takes down the lights. He begins putting the displays together in September as he checks all the lights and re-tapes the displays. He puts the lights out in November three weeks before Thanksgiving when he turns them on for the public.
Next year will be Minneci’s last year for the lights and this year is the last year he will be doing eight houses. Next year it will only be the two main houses which generally account for about 70 percent of the lights and figures.
If you are in the Middle Tennessee area during the holidays, add a stop to see BJ’s Christmas Lights on Sunnyside.