Okay, I’ve found a fun museum setting…ready? Hang on, before I get started, picture this: it’s December 1964, and the kids are going on and on, like kids do when they’re excited, anyways, they love that television special ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’. Keep in mind, this is the sixties, you can’t simply stream the show on Hulu or Netflix. Fortunately, thanks to enterprising retailers, there was a viable alternative….
It was almost tangible, and the settings sent young minds aglow. What was it? Simple, storefront windows. To be more precise, animatronic scenes, ones with fun fictional themes, awaited passersby. So, load up the car, Ma, we’re going to Prange’s.
I say Prange’s specifically because that’s where these displays, which are super retro cool, would have been seen. They were rescued by a man from Sturgeon Bay. He, in turn, donated them to the Neville Public Museum, a local Green Bay, Wisconsin attraction. Honestly, I’m glad he did.
First, before I get too far, I had a run-in with Bruce the Spruce.
He would have been located inside the Prange’s building. Bruce, although he sounded like a woman lowering her voice, was pretty cool. He was full of Christmas related dad jokes.
“Wanna here a joke?“ Bruce asked.
“Sure,” I replied with a shrug of my shoulders.
“What’s the elves’ favorite subject at school?”
I mull it over for a short while, honestly trying to crack the riddle. However, my gears spin to no avail. “No Idea”
“The elf-abet.” Bruce replies with a hardy laugh.
I chuckle politely, awkwardly suppressing a grimace.
Anyway, enough of the cheesy talking tree. The main event lies just off to the right.
So, here we go, into the exhibit: Holiday Memories of Downtown Green Bay.
Do you know Buddy from Elf? “And as I pass through the candy cane forest….”
Sorry Will Farrel, but this North Pole beats yours.
As you wind through enchanted lands, you’ll find the furry friends tend to agree,
As you trek further, under the guidance of benevolent winds, and the grace of Chicago department store, which sold them to Prange’s in the sixties…
like I was saying, the snow babies are thick in this northern province.
Among illuminated trees, mythical creatures frolic about.
Finally, as I happen across a cozy Victorian shelter, I’ll finish up with cookies fresh from the oven.
This exhibit isn’t huge, but it’s full of yesteryear’s Christmas magic. When you step inside these walls, it’s definitely a charming atmosphere, one of both innovation and tradition. It’s simply an aura that envelops your being.
And when the kids were tucked in for the night, that enigmatic abstract world probably livened their dreams.
This exhibit runs until January 8th, 2023.