This is year 32 that Pete Basala has been spreading Christmas cheer for those in Northwest Indiana with an elaborate holiday lights display known as “Peteyville” that lights up part of the block in his Hessville neighborhood in Hammond from Thanksgiving Day until New Year’s Eve.
The home at 3033 Crane Place and the yards of several neighbors are filled with inflatables, holiday lights, figurines and homemade props that include a carousel and ferris wheel. The display has gotten so big that he has a separate power supply from NIPSCO just to power all of the decorations.
Basala’s home is located just a couple blocks away from the childhood home of Jean Shepherd who authored the book that became the classic movie “A Christmas Story.” In the movie, Ralphie lives in the fictional town of Hohman, which is actually one of the city’s main streets.
Each year something new appears, often an inflatable bigger than the last. Among the inflatables is a 26-foot reindeer named Randy and several other soldiers, Santas and other characters in the 12 - 20-foot range.
Basala has added a couple homemade photo ops where families can take a keepsake portrait when they visit. He also has his own dedicated radio station that you can tune into when you’re in the neighborhood to hear some of the history of Peteyville and a song recorded by and Emmy-nominated artist.
Peteyville is lit up each night from 5 p.m. - 10 p.m weather permitting, starting on Thanksgiving through the end of the year. Get more information and weather updates at the Peteyville page on Facebook.
Pair your visit to Peteyville with a stop at the Indiana Welcome Center, operated by the South Shore Convention &Visitors Authority for the “A Christmas Story Comes Home” exhibit with some of the window displays related to the movie that once appeared in the windows at Macy’s. The exhibit will open November 9 and run through December 31. Santa will also be available for photos on Santa’s Mountain on weekends from November 30-December 22. For more information, visit southshorecva.com.