I enjoy photography and writing, new places and experiences, living on the edge of the Barossa Valley and my involvement with animals. You are welcome to visit my photography website www.jennybrice.com
Captivating lights on Christmas Lane
Christmas is the time of year when heaven touches Earth (Anon.).
The moon shines over the lights in Christmas Lane. Photo courtesy Bill Chartres.
Captivating Christmas lights can be viewed in many private and public displays around South Australia, but one which has delighted visitors, young and old, since 1984 is Peg and Bill's Christmas Lane Lights Display in the Adelaide Hills town of Lobethal.
Lights on the house and in the garden create a sparkling fantasy-land. Photo courtesy Bill Chartres.
As part of the Lobethal Christmas Lights Festival, Peg and Bill's spectacular and magical display is a world famous, free event which is well worth a visit in its own right.
Their display, located at 5 Christmas Lane, off 5 Ridge Road, Lobethal, is set in over half an acre of landscaped gardens. It usually takes about 8 weeks to set up and features approximately 40,000 lights, illuminated wooden cut-outs and delightful indoor displays and Christmas scenes which can be viewed through the large windows of their home.
The Nativity Scene reminds viewers of the true meaning of Christmas. Photo courtesy Bill Chartres.
Peg and Bill are passionate about their Christmas Lights and 2017 is the 31st year they have presented their lights display. They spend approximately 6 months of each year working on designing and making new display items, as well as maintaining the old ones.
Winnie The Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore and Tigger are sure to delight the children. Photo courtesy Bill Chartres.
New features for 2017 include a display featuring Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore which is bound to be a big hit with the children. Another new feature will be 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 has not been used for some years and they felt that now was a good time to reintroduce it.
Santa is depicted many times throughout the display. Photo courtesy Bill Chartres.
As well as designing and building new features, Peg and Bill have spent a lot of time through the year working on and repairing the Nativity scene and other items which were damaged in a storm during last year's 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 from all over Australia.
An Australian Christmas scene depicts native animals and birds. Photo courtesy Bill Chartres.
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 10th 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.
Christmas displays can be viewed through the windows of the house. Photo courtesy Bill Chartres.
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.
The garden at 5 Christmas Lane provides a beautiful display throughout the year. Photo courtesy Bill Chartres.
The garden has been partially remodelled during 2017 because some of the trees and shrubs were becoming too large and difficult to maintain. Several trees and shrubs have been removed and replaced with standard deciduous varieties that will be easier to look after. This left the garden looking rather bare so Peg and Bill have filled the gaps with Maypole style light trees until the new plants are more established.
Sparkling, colourful lights from one end of the garden to the other. Photo courtesy Bill Chartres.
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.
A wintery snow scene viewed through a window of the house. Photo courtesy Bill Chartres.
The Lobethal Christmas Lights Festival, of which the Christmas Lane Lights Display is an integral part, is the largest Christmas Light Festival in the southern hemisphere.
The tradition of Lobethal's Christmas Lights began in the 1940's 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.
Merry Christmas is the message to one and all. Photo courtesy Bill Chartres.
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.
FOOTNOTE: In February 2014, the Adelaide Hills Council designated Peg and Bill's driveway as a private road and named it "Christmas Lane".
Follow the sign to view an enchanting display of Christmas lights. Photo courtesy Bill Chartres.