“Christmas is the Time of Year When Heaven Touches Earth” (Anon.).
Sparkly, twinkling lights are an integral part of Christmas and many people look forward to decorating their houses each year and to viewing the many captivating displays in the city, suburbs, Adelaide Hills and country towns of South Australia.
Peg and Bill are passionate about their Christmas Lights and 2018 is the 32nd year they have presented their lights display. They began, in the first year, with a few strands of coloured lights but now spend approximately 6 months of each year working on designing and building new display items, as well as maintaining, updating and repairing the old ones.
Special features include a display featuring Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore which is bound to be a big hit with the children. Another feature is a screen at the entrance of the display which welcomes visitors to “Santa’s Retreat”. Peg and Bill named their display “Santa’s Retreat” many years ago, but the sign had not been used for some years until they reintroduced it in 2017.
A prominent, green Noël sign generates many comments with many people asking why Peg and Bill chose to include it in their display. The answer is that since their surname, ‘Chartres’, is of French origin, they thought that it would be nice to add a French touch to their display.
During the display, Peg and Bill provide visitors books for the guests to sign and in a single year have had up to 4,500 entries with visitors from as many as 35 different countries, as well as sightseers from all over Australia.
The Lobethal Christmas Lights Festival, of which Peg’s and Bill’s display is an integral part, is the largest Christmas Lights display in the southern hemisphere. It opens on the second Sunday in December (Sunday 9th December this year) and continues every night until 30th December. Lights are switched on at dusk each evening during this time and remain on until 11.30pm.
The tradition of Lobethal’s Christmas Lights began in the 1940s when a few businessmen hand-painted globes to decorate their Main Street shops for the Christmas season. This tradition spread and today about 80% of all homes and business in the village “light up” for Christmas with a diverse range of spectacular displays. A variety of stalls, events and live entertainment add to the spirit of the Festival.
Human visitors may abound during the Christmas season but for the rest of the year, Peg and Bill have an abundance of native creatures visiting and living in their garden, including koalas, possums, lizards, frogs, butterflies and other insects and a wide variety of native birds. Their garden is a work of art in itself and is a place of beauty throughout the year, not just at Christmas. Peg spends many hours each year designing, establishing and maintaining the garden features and plants.
You can visit Peg and Bill’s website to view photos of their Christmas display, their garden throughout the rest of the year and some of the critters that visit and call their garden home. You can also see photos of their display on their Facebook page.
Before your December calendar becomes too full of pre-Christmas events, book a date for yourself, your family and your friends to visit the Lobethal lights and especially to enjoy Peg and Bill’s delightful Christmas Lane Lights Display.
HINT: Even on hot days, the evenings in the hills can be quite cold, so remember to bring something warm to wear. You can visit the Christmas Lane Weather page to see up-to-date weather information for the Lobethal area.
FOOTNOTE: In February 2014, the Adelaide Hills Council designated Peg and Bill’s driveway as a private road and named it “Christmas Lane”.
Link to website: https://www.weekendnotes.com/christmas-lane-lights-display/