CORRIGANVILLE — “It’s looking to be pretty sweet,” said Scott Pennington, a Corriganville resident whose yearly Christmas display has attracted crowds and, soon, national attention.
Pennington was visited by an ABC reality television show crew last December to be filmed for an upcoming episode of “The Great Christmas Light Fight,” now in its eighth season. After a year of waiting, the episode will debut early next month, but Pennington doesn’t have many spoilers to offer. “It’ll be a surprise to me, too, but if you love Christmas like I do, it’ll be really enjoyable.”
Reaching the pinnacle of Christmas notoriety hasn’t slowed Pennington, who says this year’s front yard attraction “is even better than the last.” The theme, A Haunted Christmas, “is a battle between good and evil, between heroes and villains,” Pennington said. “There are elements of the pandemic included and I want the whole thing to be very inspirational to people. Everything has a meaning,” he said. “I really poured my heart into this one.”
Pennington has been putting up his elaborate light show since 2013. “I got a late start that year,” he said, “but I’m proud of my humble beginnings and every year has been exciting and I try to do more and bigger each year.”
Bigger is the name of the game at Pennington’s home on Kreighbaum Road. In addition to life-size custom painted figurines, the display has a half-dozen, 12-foot poles adorned with lights and art pieces.
“I like to put a lot of different elements in there,” Pennington said. “It’s all very special to me. Some people come just to see the silly ole train that I put up every year, some come for the lights.”
And do they come. According to Pennington, he’s had visitors from China, most of the 50 states and other locations abroad. “It’s just crazy that people come from so far away,” he said.
Tracking this by using a visitor’s book posted at the front of the display, Pennington says he and his girlfriend read the log each day during the holiday season.
“I get to be in touch with people every night. It’s like Christmas every evening after I shut everything off and get to flip through the names of people and read how much they appreciated the display,” he said.
Due to the spread of COVID-19, Pennington won’t be putting out a book for visitors to sign this year.
“It eats me up because I love that darn book,” he said.
Pennington, a perfectionist at heart, says that the challenge of putting together a display during a pandemic has been an opportunity to generate hope. “I really want people to feel happiness after visiting my display,” he said. “I want us all to have hope that we will get past this virus and that things are going to get better.
“I hope people really like this display. It’s completely different from last year,” Pennington, who admits that Christmas 2021 is already on his mind, said. “I like to be thinking ahead and I have sections for ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, so when people come, they’ll get a sneak preview of what I have in mind for next year.”
Pennington turns the display on nightly from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. on weeknights, and from 5:30 p.m. until 11 p.m. on weekends. “I usually try to have something going by Thanksgiving, even if it’s a real mess,” he said, “but it’ll be a lot of fun either way.”
“The Great Christmas Light Fight” will begin on ABC on Dec. 9. There will be six installments with two episodes set to air each Wednesday night through Dec. 23.