Penny Lane shines bright with Christmas lights
Written by Andy Kanengiser
A festive Long Beach neighborhood lights up the Gulf Coast just in time to celebrate Christmas.
The Estates of Penny Lane is the place to be for folks of all ages as they embrace the holiday season.
With countless lights and piped in yuletide music, the half-mile of Christmas cheer is one of the most anticipated events each December for Coast residents.
Valerie Mueller’s family business, RPM Pizza, pays for the awesome displays of lights and innovative decorations each year. It’s a glorious Christmas gift stretching for blocks. Shooting stars and glowing trees that look like they are snowing make for one splendid show. So are signs telling visitors to tune to 88.3 FM on their car radios to take it all in.
Mueller’s fan club gets pretty big as the holidays near on Penny Lane. Families in the
neighborhood pulled together to decorate different themes from the Mueller’s North Pole and “The Grinch Who Tried to Steal Christmas” in Whoville to Glass’s Galatica and Star Wars Adventure.
The Elias family does their thing to rev up spirits, coordinating “Twas the Night Before Christmas” with magical Disney characters. The Tyres offer a South Pole adventure, while the Roths feature a “Golden Red Candy Castle,” with a “Santa Sighting” at the Kolbs house.
While the deadly COVID-19 virus has caused heartache for the world much of the year, this is one event that will give families a chance to make merry for an hour in Long Beach. Last year, Dominos sponsored a Santa Second Line celebrating the birth of Jesus and welcoming the newest families in the neighborhood. This December, there will be no Santa Second Line, but families are still working hard to make the 2020 event special.
The Estates of Penny Lane has become the fun holiday haven in Harrison County where Gulf Coast people can shoot plenty of cell phone photos to show friends and loved ones.
Anne Marie Guille faithfully attends the amazing hometown event every year, and the Long Beach businesswoman won’t skip the newest edition this year.
“It’s a wonderful light show, with a radio station that plays with the light show in sync,” says Guille, co-owner of Southern Bagel Company. “For many years, they had a Santa you could take photos with, and they would give out candy to the kids.”
This year’s festivities should be scaled back a bit due to COVID-19 health protocols across Mississippi and around the nation, but that won’t stop fans from driving by.
“No doubt, it will be amazing,” says Guille. “We love it,” she says of the unforgettable show.
Over the years, the Penny Lane Christmas Show glittered up the neighborhood from
dusk til 10 p.m. through Christmas Eve. Whether people cherish the music of “Mississippi Girl” Faith Hill, jazzy tunes of New Orleans or traditional holiday tunes like “Jingle Bells,’’ the Long Beach light show is a family-friendly event worth every minute. Bring the hot chocolate, the cameras, the smiles - and don’t forget the kids!
Photos by Lindy Sholes:
Photos by Dominick Fimiano: