Lewis Lights

By BUSTER WOLFE,

A holiday tradition in the Pine Belt returned for its 28th Christmas season as the Lewis Lights display is now open until New Year’s Eve at 280 White Chapel Road in Purvis.

The Lewis family started the light display in 1989 and the 2.5-acre walking layout features more than 225,000 lights and 300 handmade wooden decorations. Deborah Lewis, the niece of owner and originator Evelyn Lewis, said the annual pilgrimage for local residents has delighted thousands over the years.

“We are open from 5:30-9 p.m. every night, weather permitting,” she said, adding that the scenes included in the lighted displays include “a variety of characters. There is always something special that people will like.”

The presentation of the displays allows families to stop along the route and take photographs with their favorites.

Lewis said that the family has been unable to expand the route.

“We don’t have any space or power capacity to add anything,” she said. “We have maxed out.”

According to the Lewis Lights and Crafts Facebook page, the Christmas destination was built because holiday decorating is not as prevalent as previous years. The Lewis family decided to create their own Christmas decorations because they went to see the lights on Christmas Eve when they were younger.

Admission to the Lewis Lights display is free, Deborah Lewis said.

“We do have a donation basket for anyone who wants to donate,” she said. “We also sell hot chocolate for $1 a cup. We also have our craft shop on the driveway, where we sell handmade and hand-baked items. The banana nut bread is going over really well.”

Lewis said only a few rules are in place for safety reasons.

“We just ask that you not cross the fences because there are electrical cords behind the fences that you can’t see,” she said. “It could cause some major issues.”

Other precautions include do not run, do not touch the lights, stay inside the lighted paths, no smoking, do not bring pets and please keep children with you at all times. Also, there is no public restroom.

After Christmas, the hours at Lewis Lights are 5:30-8 p.m. The display is located at 280 White Chapel Rd, Purvis. If