Blog: Dust off your Cleveland Christmas memories

11:12 PM, Nov 27, 2012   |    comments
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If you remember Mr. Jingeling, the Sterling-Lindner Christmas tree, Halle's seventh floor, the Higbee Christmas windows and Nela Park, you Christmas-ed in Cleveland long ago.

Now, many of you have seen the movie "The Christmas Story" and know that the house with the leg lamp in the movie is located on Cleveland's near west side. You saw snippets of the Higbee Christmas decorations and a re-creation of Public Square at Christmas in the movie as well.

But most of the Christmases past and their memories are just that -- in the past. But not all. True, Sterling-Lindner and Halle's are no more, but some of the decorations from Higbee's are being used in the Cleveland Horseshoe Casino now for the holidays.

For now, the new casino is housed in the old Higbee building and there are a few of the old window displays in the front windows. Inside, they have used some of the lighted arches from the old Higbee main floor main floor but you have to be 21 or older to enter the casino so children can't see them.

But one thing that hasn't changed is Nela Park.

Tucked away on the border of Cleveland and East Cleveland, at the GE Lighting facility, the 88th annual Nela Park Holiday Lighting Display will once again light up about 6 p.m. Friday.

The holiday lights at GE Lighting's Nela Park headquarters have been a Northeast Ohio holiday staple for more than eight decades and still going strong.

Do you remember when your parents bundled you all into the car and took you down to Nela Park to see the Christmas lights? This was a time when there were no malls and no "local" Christmas lights except for the ones that were draped on your own house and the neighbors' houses.

The Nela Park display has been a GE "family affair" for years as well. Every year, children of Nela Park employees are chosen to help switch on the lights.

Ther's never been an admission charge and the lights have changed a bit, as they are now all LED lights.

But the spirit is the same.

There are 500,000 lights this year and musical score and notes, made out of LEDs, will be "playing" in synchronization with the music of a classic holiday song.

There will be several Christmas scenes depicting holiday songs stretching along Noble Road.

If you want to enjoy Christmas past, you can still do it at Nela Park.

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