Virginia Beach to scale back Holiday Lights at the Beach following City Manager’s recommendation

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - For the last 20-plus years Holiday Lights at the Beach has kept the Virginia Beach boardwalk alive through the holiday season.

This year the annual event is in jeopardy.

Deputy City Manager Tom Leahy told city council Tuesday that the displays and the equipment that powers them are dangerous following a new requirement to install ground fault circuits.

The city has already gotten reports of minor shocks, Leahy says.

The City Manager's office is recommending the city cancel the usual Holiday Lights on the Beach show, which consists of more than 300 displays and costs on average $448,000 to put on with average revenues of $452,000.

Instead, they're suggesting a scaled back version consisting of a few displays that feature newer, safer technology. This year would serve as a test for shows in 2018 and beyond.

That test would cost $175,000 in resort management dollars, says city councilman John Uhrin.

Uhrin says he plans to meet with resort stakeholders this week to get the OK.

Leahy tells News 3 the decision of whether or not to go forward with the test show must come soon, but either way the show won't be the same.

"There will not be a show this year as there has been in the past," he said.