'Believe In The Wonder': Chicago Celebrates 52nd Year Of Animated Window Displays At Macy's On State


CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Do you believe in the wonder?

Since the early 1870s, Macy’s has been stunning spectators with their famed holiday window displays. They were the first company to feature holiday windows created for the pure fun and joy of the season, which started a tradition that still lives on today in numerous cities including New York, Chicago, Boston, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Salt Lake City.

This year, Chicago celebrates its 52nd anniversary of its annual, animated holiday window display with the theme, “Believe in the Wonder” that follows the story of Sunny the Snowpal, who embarks on a Christmas adventure with new arctic fox friend.

“It is basically the storyline of Sunny the Snowpal, where she helps Santa deliver the presents to all the children over the world,” said Brian Peluso, Macy’s Visual Manager, Windows.

“Snowflakes fly in a blustery flurry. Sunny dashes away in a hurry. With the stars as her guide, she zooms away in high gear, wishing for peace and good will that she holds so dear,” the second window continues.

“With her friend Fox by her side, ‘Hold on tight!’ Sunny makes haste to help Santa on his big night! Traveling the world over, Santa soars and races, spreading joy and happiness to near and far away places!” the story continues.

Without giving away the final windows. Eventually, all is restored and Christmas is saved, leaving you with a final message to “Believe in the wonder of giving!”

Macy’s holiday windows are on display in numerous cities nationwide. Themes are chosen between multiple departments within the company, and although there is a central theme among all the cities, the displays tend to be a little different.

“Herald Square is usually tailored more toward New York City, ours are tailored a little more towards Chicago. From there, the branch stores are all usually on the same storyline,” Peluso said. “Sunny happened to be our mascot last year. It was the new balloon in the parade, so that usually tends to be how the theme is chosen.”

Macy’s writes their own storylines and create their own characters each year, whereas Marshall Field’s would at times pull themes from trending stories and characters like Harry Potter, Snow White, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

The process to put it all together takes about a year, so once they are done with this year, they are already thinking a year ahead.

“My favorite is what you guys see outside, is obviously not what you see in the back. When we have to go and fix something, you have this tiny little hole that you somehow have to maneuver your body through; and actually the last couple days, there has been a few little fixes and people have been standing outside watching us kind of try to climb in there and to me that’s just the best part,” Peluso said, “because they actually get to see, yeah there really are people that do it, it just doesn’t come in manufactured.”

So far, Peluso said the windows have received great feedback. 

“When we opened the windows, there was crowds outside and they were all trying to read the story on the windows and follow along…it is all very exciting,” he said.

As for his favorite window this year, “my favorite window is the fourth in the series. It is all of the little fox holes. To me, it is the most in depth. It is the cutest. You can actually look back inside and see the little bedroom of the bears. It’s just the cutest,” he said.

The holiday window displays will be open until Jan. 5.

“Please come by and see them. If you happen to see me, come and say hi, let me know your feedback,” Peluso said.