In 1962, the Stage and Puppets for “Pip the Mouse: the Mouse Before Christmas” were purchased by Max Hess, Jr. for his department store in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The holiday puppet show, created by Dr. George R. Creegan (founder of the Creegan Company, Inc. Steubenville, Ohio,) made its world premier at Hess’s in Allentown on Saturday, October 27, 1962. The puppet show stage was placed in one of the front windows on Hamilton Street and delighted thousands of people of all ages.
In the 1970’s, Pip was moved to the 5th floor Community Room and “Winter Wonderland” was added complete with mechanical animals, people, trees and a Swiss chalet. When Hess’s was sold to the BonTon, the store continued to present Pip until December, 1995. “The Mouse Before Christmas” was last performed at the former Hess’s building at 9th and Hamilton Streets. The BonTon donated Pip and his pals to the Allentown Economic and Development Corporation in 1996. Pip was presented by the former Allentown Downtown Improvement District Authority from 1996-2001, lastly at the Allentown Public Library.
In 2001-2002, Pip was restored at the Civic Theater. Joint custody of Pip was given to the Liberty Bell Museum and the Allentown Public Library in 2003. The museum restored the original stage and audio soundtrack and has presented the traditional “Pip the Mouse” puppet show to thousands of visitors during the holiday season each year since 2003. The 2010 Holiday Season marks our eighth year with Pip the Mouse.