The lights were colorful and bright. I was so excited. We were going to see Santa downtown. Midtown plaza was a Christmas wonderland. Magic Mountain was larger than life. Santa sat up high on his chair the red velvet almost matching his plush fur-lined suit.
The monorail was buzzing around high up on its track. Children were waiting not so patiently. The clock of nations kept time perfectly as its occupants danced around as their turn came.
I remember this annual trip. I went for many years as child. Even working downtown as an adult the lights, the mountain, the monorail and especially Santa on his chair made me reminisce and smile. I wish that I could take my own children to Midtown but all that remains is a clock at an airport and a chair in a very special place near and dear to my heart.
In 2008, Arlene Stephens and her sister, Donna White, the owners of Arlene's Costumes, won the Midtown Santa Chair at the Midtown Plaza auction prior to the demolition of the first indoor mall in the country.
In interviews following the auction Arlene and Donna told reporters how important the tradition of the Christmas season and the annual trip to Midtown were to them and their family.
Donna and Arlene Discussing their Famous Purchase after the Midtown Auction
The Santa Chair now takes a prominent place next to Arlene's Rental Desk at its permanent residence at Arlene's Costumes on Portland Avenue in Rochester. It is rented out by businesses, for private parties and enjoyed by countless visitors to the store. It was also used in our Christmas commercial a few years ago and is replayed often and can be viewed on YouTube.
This Rochester Holiday tradition will be honored for years to come at Arlene's Costumes and throughout the community.
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