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Father to end massive Brentwood Christmas lights display honoring late son

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WKRN) - The Brentwood family who creates a massive Christmas light display every year in honor of their late son said it's their last year.

Bill Minneci has decorated his home for the last 35 years. He's said he's retiring his display to give himself and his neighbors a break.

"My neighbors have put up with a lot of traffic Christmas week for a long time," Minneci told News 2. "And I think maybe my wife would like to go someplace in December instead of being in the house every night."

Minneci started the display 35 years ago with his then six-year-old son, BJ.

In 1993, BJ passed away in a car crash at the age of 16.

"Every year he said 'Let's have some more Christmas lights. Dad, we need some more.'" Minneci said. "Since then I've done it for him. I've added Christmas lights every year just as he wanted it."

At his peak, Minneci put up 135,000 lights. This year he has about 98,000. Next year, there will be about 45,000 lights.

You won't be able to walk through the display next year, though you will be able to drive by. He will also whittle down his 400 figurines currently on display to his 100 favorite.

Many families told News 2 that Minneci's father-son tradition have become their tradition too.

"We remember going when we were kids," said Fairview resident Michelle Ferragina. "It was a tradition for us and now it's a tradition for our kids."

"We've come here for the last five years," said Mike Harder. "It's a great family event to come to and just hang out. We're going to miss the way it currently is but next year is going to be really fun to drive by."

Minneci said while the display dwindles, his son's memory will not.

"He was an outgoing kid," said Minneci of his son. "He just loved being around people an doing things to make people happy. That's kind of my philosophy too so it's worked out well."

Anyone can go see the lights on Sunnyside Drive in Brentwood between 5 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. through the end of the year.

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