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An Omaha tradition — spectacular holiday window creations — is being resurrected this year at Midtown Crossing.
“Miracle on Farnam” will feature 14 window displays along Farnam Street between Turner Park and 33rd Street. They will be unveiled at dusk today as Midtown Crossing turns on its annual holiday lights.
Molly Skold lived in Chicago when her children were growing up and she said one of the highlights of their holidays was going to the downtown area to check out the lights and decorated windows. She was saddened to learn there was no longer anything like that in Omaha and surprised when her friends said they scheduled trips to Chicago or New York City to see the windows in those cities.
“I thought people shouldn't have to hop on a plane to see windows. Why can't Omaha do that? We've got windows. Let's keep people here,” she said.
In her capacity as director of marketing for East Campus Realty, the Mutual of Omaha subsidiary that owns Midtown Crossing, Skold was in a position to turn that thought into reality.
Her bosses got on board, as did the 14 area organizations she approached to help design and decorate the windows. “The response was beyond our expectations,” she said.
The organizations, which have been planning and working on their concepts for months, are the Blue Barn Theatre, Rose Theater, Omaha Community Playhouse, Omaha Performing Arts, Omaha Symphony Guild, Opera Omaha, Joslyn Art Museum, Kent Bellows Studio and Center for Visual Arts, Lauritzen Gardens, Durham Museum, Omaha Children's Museum, Joslyn Castle Trust, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, and Strategic Air & Space Museum.
The Omaha Community Playhouse window will have a Scrooge theme, of course. Joslyn Art Museum's Winter Wonderland display will have an interesting interactive element. Other organizations have been more secretive, wanting viewers to be totally surprised.
The windows' unveiling is free and open to the public. The windows will be lit daily from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. through New Year's Day. Garage parking is free for three hours.
Viewers will have the opportunity to vote on their favorite display on site or online. The winning organization will receive $3,000.
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