Monday, December 4, 2017

Peteyville in Hammond, Indiana Will Fill You With Holiday Cheer

Are you a fan of holiday lights and outdoor decorations?

Do you love the holiday movie "A Christmas Story?"

This home in Hammond, Indiana has a bit of both. Located at 3033 Crane Place in the Hessville neighborhood of Hammond, this home sits just a few blocks away from the childhood home of Jean Shepherd, who authored a book that was adapted into the classic holiday movie "A Christmas Story." The movie is based on Shepherd's childhood growing up in Hammond, Indiana (in the movie it's the fictional town of "Hohman" which is the name of one of the city's main streets.)

This is the 30th year that Pete Basala has been decorating not just his house, but the yards of several neighbors. It has evolved into five yards full of inflatables, lights and some of his creations that include a carousel, teeter-totter and Ferris wheel. The Christmas display is known as "Peteyville." 

Peteyville even has its own radio station and when you're in front of the home you can tune in to hear some history about the decorations and a professionally recorded song about Peteyville sang by an Emmy-nominated artist.

Among the many inflatables is one that is new this year, a 26-foot reindeer named Randy. He stands a bit higher than his other friends, most of which are in the 13 - 15 range and a few that are 20-foot tall.

Each year, the Basala family lights up the home from 5 - 10 p.m. (weather permitting) from Thanksgiving until New Year's Eve. The home has a separate power supply from NIPSCO to accommodate all the power needed to run the lights and inflatables for the season. 

You'll also find a couple spots in Peteyville that are perfect family photo opportunities. Many families return year after year with their families and take annual photos there.

Check out their Facebook page - Peteyville for more information and updates. If there are high winds or ice, the inflatables may be down, but the area will still be lit up. The Facebook page will indicate if that's the case. 

They also tie in "A Christmas Story" with a leg lamp displayed in the window. By the way, Pete Basala's wife, Tina, is quite an elf herself and decorates the inside of the house with more than a dozen trees of varying sizes. 

If you're from out of the area and wishing to come by to visit Peteyville, you may want to pair it with the "A Christmas Story Comes Home" exhibit at the Indiana Welcome Center just off of I-94. The exhibit has several scenes from the movie that were once in the Macy's windows in New York. There's also a big display of trees and opportunities for photos with Mr. Claus on Santa's Mountain. 

The Center for Visual and Performing Arts in neighboring Munster also has a nice exhibit of trees and a gift shop with some lovely Christmas gift ideas and one more town over and across the Illinois border in Lansing you'll find the annual Festival of Lights exhibit with 35 trees and displays covering Christmas customs around the world at the Lansing Historical Museum located in the lower level of the Lansing Public Library.


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