Holiday History Walk

Category: Event Calendar

  • Thursday, Dec 19, 2019 6-7:30 p.m.

Open Website

Discover the stories behind the historic window displays seen each holiday season in downtown Akron.

Author Joanna Wilson will lead a free walking tour and discussion of Akron's history of downtown Christmas window displays. From her research on Akron's Christmas attractions--which resulted in the book “The Story of Archie the Talking Snowman" (2015) from 1701 Press--Wilson uncovers the 100 year history of the breath-taking, enchanted Christmas displays that filled the windows of retailers O'Neil's, Polsky's, Yeagers, and more.
Love seeing the Wizard of Oz, Alice in Wonderland, Cabbage Patch Dolls, and Peter Pan storybook window displays each Christmas in downtown Akron? Come discover the story behind those sets and the long history of Christmas window displays of downtown retailers each year in Akron. We'll also talk about the rich history behind Chapel Hill Mall’s Archie the Talking Snowman, Rolling Acres’ giant RA figure, Summit Mall’s talking Christmas tree, O’Neil’s over-sized Raggedy Ann doll, and Polsky’s Tom the Talking Horse.
Join us on Third Thursday’s event, Dec. 19th, at 6 p.m. in the indoor cafeteria at Lock 3 in downtown Akron on Main Street to participate in the discussion. We’ll walk north on Main Street to 68 Mill Street to the Curated Storefront window to talk about Wilson’s most recent wearable art project: the Netflix Dress, and then walk back down Main Street, ending up inside the former O’Neil’s building for snacks at the Barley House. The walk in total is .7 miles in length. The talk will go on rain or shine--so bring an umbrella, if necessary!
After the talk, Wilson will be available to sell copies of her book “The Story of Archie the Talking Snowman" ($20) which details this history of Akron's Christmas window displays. Or, you can purchase it ahead of time from the publisher 1701 Press:

Show your hometown pride, bring your questions, and join the conversation about Akron's holiday history!