SALT LAKE CITY — Ready or not, the holiday season is here and City Creek is kicking off its festivities Thursday night with the return of a very popular downtown holiday tradition.
The popular holiday candy windows at Macy's have been on hiatus for the past five years because of City Creek construction. But on Thursday night, the holiday tradition will resume.
The giant windows of Macy's along Main Street are presently covered up, but on the inside, six local artists are busy putting the finishing touches on their creations.
Asked about one of the displays, Salt Lake City realtor and artist Babs De Lay said she was pleased with how they turned out.
"I'm totally surprised," she said. "I had a plan and it totally worked out."
We won't spoil the surprise of the finished works, but Macy's did allow for a sneak peek to get a "taste" of what the candy windows will look like. Each of the artists have created giant Christmas ornaments. They received a big round styrofoam ball and lots of candy.
"We bought hundreds of pounds of candy," said Macy's store manager Wendy Hoyne. "It's about 100 pounds for each ornament."
We bought hundreds of pounds of candy. It's about 100 pounds for each ornament.
The holiday windows date back to the early 1970s when ZCMI would traditionally unveil the displays the night after Thanksgiving. It was a huge draw every year, and a must see for anyone coming downtown during the Christmas season.
With the completion of City Creek, Macy's said the tradition would absolutely resume, and customers are thrilled.
"The community seems really excited to have the candy windows back," Hoyne said.
Last summer, Macy's put out an open call for local artists to submit designs. Of those entries, six local artists were selected to turn a 9-foot wide, 8-foot deep and 12-foot high space into a holiday display.
De Lay created a two-sided ornament, spending approximately 80 hours on the completed project. She's gone through a lot of candy — Ring Pops, lollipops, licorice, Hot Tamales and jelly beans — and three cases of silicone caulk to make it stick.
If you love candy, you'll find about every kind in the various candy windows. The big unveil of the six windows happens Thursday night at 6 p.m. Lights, decorations, Santa and even some fireworks will be part of the festivities.