From Cedar Point To Christmas Point, USA Animated Christmas Window Tradition Returns Sandusky Beckons Visitors Year Round

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Christmas Point USA premieres twelve nostalgic, animated window displays throughout downtown Sandusky storefronts, reminiscent of 1940's Americana. The windows, much like a mini-Broadway show, will tell the classic Dickens' tale, "A Christmas Carol," through the use of story boards and vintage life-like figures. The figures were originally created by world-famous holiday window designer Spaeth Design - the same company responsible for creating window designs featured at Manhattan's landmark department stores.

Sandusky may be most recognized as home to the world's best amusement park, Cedar Point, and as the heart of Ohio's Lake Erie Shores & Islands region, but during the holiday season, this historic coastal town transforms into a journey to Christmas past.

Spearheaded by Sandusky State Theatre Executive Director Thomas T. Kazmierczak III and his wife Irene, Sandusky will take on the spirit of Christmas Point, USA (also first stop in America as Santa leaves Canada) and welcome visitors to recall a time when the holidays were less about commercialism and more about tradition and family connections.

The transformation begins with the premiere of twelve nostalgic, animated window displays throughout downtown Sandusky storefronts, reminiscent of 1940's Americana. The windows, much like a mini-Broadway show, will tell the classic Dickens' tale, "A Christmas Carol," through the use of story boards and vintage life-like figures. The figures were originally created by world-famous holiday window designer Spaeth Design - the same company responsible for creating window designs featured at Manhattan's landmark department stores.

Visitors will follow a walking tour, reading the story from window to window and viewing the character scenes. Holiday music will be broadcast onto the street from the State Theatre, adding to the festive atmosphere. The windows will be lighted and animated daily from 11 am - 9 pm, December 17- January 3, 2009.

The displays will be in storefronts on Sandusky's Columbus Avenue, Water Street and Market Street in the city's historic Main Street district. A free self-guided tour map will be available at the Christmas in the City gift shop located in the Sandusky State Theatre, which is open daily.

The Theatre will host several special events in conjunction with the holiday windows. Most notably, the animated window displays are made possible through the generous sponsorship of local foundations, organizations, including civic, commercial and non-profit groups.

While strolling the streets of historic downtown Sandusky, visitors will want to be sure to check out the holiday decorations and light displays at Washington Park. All downtown merchants will also be featuring their best holiday gift ideas and decorations for the season.

Make Ohio's Lake Erie Shores & Islands a holiday destination this year and visit Christmas Point, USA. Many area hotels and resorts, including Sandusky's famed indoor waterparks, offer holiday getaway packages. Log on to http://www.sanduskystate.com & http://www.SHORESandISLANDS.com for lodging packages and holiday event information.

Facts
The figures were created by world famous holiday window creator/designer Spaeth Design - responsible for windows featured at Manhattan's landmark department stores: Macy's, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Lord & Taylor. 50 years ago Spaeth Design began as a small company which set out to bring magic to the holiday shopping experience. Viewing a cities' department store windows used to be a holiday tradition for many, before the shopping malls and big box stores lured shoppers away from downtowns.

Window displays are still popular today at department stores in New York and Chicago. These particular displays were originally displayed in one of the New York City department store windows during the 1980's. They were most recently displayed in Columbus, OH, where they were discovered hidden away in a warehouse. Sandusky State Theatre Executive Director, Thomas Kazmierczak brought them to Sandusky to be restored and enjoyed. Normally these types of animated figures were only built to last through one season and then destroyed, so it's fortunate that Kazmierczak was able to bring these gems to Sandusky.

Christmas Point, USA is for the benefit of the community - both in that it draws visitors to the downtown to stroll and visit local businesses and that it creates a welcoming old-fashioned holiday for area residents. It is a spot where people can take a break from the hectic holiday season and enjoy a place which transports you back to another time. Kazmierczak created a similar event in Lancaster, NY when he was director of the Lancaster Opera House

Everyone should visit! This is a great family activity, creating holiday memories and giving loved ones a chance to take a leisurely stroll and enjoy the sites and sounds of the holidays on the shore. This event is also a great stop for groups seeking nostalgia and rekindling of Christmases past - private group meals can be arranged among the Holiday Sparkle at the State. Complimentary motorcoach parking is available.

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