PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Workers on Smithfield Street set the stage for Light Up Night, in the shadow of the famous Kaufmann’s clock. But when Macy’s closed its doors, many wondered if that would that mark the end of those nostalgic window displays.
It was a Light Up Night tradition to pull back the black curtain, revealing Christmas and holiday displays that would draw gasps of approval from children and adults alike. Now that Macy’s is gone? Cheer up. The tradition continues. Though the store is empty, the windows are not.
“We’re in partnership with the new owners of the building, Core Realty, and the Colcom Foundation is working to bring back nine holiday windows this season,” says Jeremy Waldrup, president of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership. “So we have nine windows that are popping up: two historical Macy’s windows, and seven windows from these cultural institutions.”
The familiar Macy’s scenarios are joined by the office of Ebeneezer Scrooge, as imagined by Civic Light Opera, and Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer from Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. The displays were to be unveiled by Mayor Bill Peduto and women’s soccer champ Megan Klingenberg.
Project director Allison Blackwell cuts up “wrapping paper,” so children can get into get into the act.
“The paper that we have now is all for the kids,” she says. “So at 6:30, we’ll have the big reveal, and we’ll tell the kids to tear down the paper, and they’ll be able to tear it down. And that’s the big reveal of the windows that everyone has been working on so hard.”
Jeremy Waldrup says downtown window displays are likely to continue for years to come.
“We’ve actually had a number of building owners contact us and say, we know you’ve got it covered for this year, but if you need a home for these windows next year, we’d love to have them as part of our building, and to contribute to the celebration that’s been going on for decades.”