Iconic holiday display returns downtown this week

"Snow Day", one of the 2019 new reveals as part of Rike's Holiday Windows. Designed by critically acclaimed theatre and opera scenic designer and Dayton native Adam Koch, along with partner Steven Royal, the windows featuring animated elves, animals and other figures have been a holiday tradition for countless Dayton families since the elves first appeared in the windows of Rike’s Department Store in the 1940's.
Caption
"Snow Day", one of the 2019 new reveals as part of Rike's Holiday Windows. Designed by critically acclaimed theatre and opera scenic designer and Dayton native Adam Koch, along with partner Steven Royal, the windows featuring animated elves, animals and other figures have been a holiday tradition for countless Dayton families since the elves first appeared in the windows of Rike’s Department Store in the 1940's.

Credit: Contributed

It’s a sign of the official start of the holiday season in downtown Dayton.

The Rike’s Holiday Windows will be on display at the Schuster Center beginning Friday, Nov. 19 and continuing through Friday, Dec. 31.

The display is free for the public to enjoy, and will be open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. However, Dayton Live noted the display may be unavailable to the public during a special event in the Schuster Center or when a ticketed performance is underway.

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In 2019, Oakwood native and Muse Machine alum Adam Koch, a New York-based scenic designer, gave the beloved display a makeover. After COVID-19 put the tradition on hold in 2020, this year offers a chance for the community to enjoy the redesigned windows.

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Visitors take in the windows of Rike's department store in 1952. Frederik Rike, owner of the Rike-Kumler Co., moved the Christmas window displays from New York City to downtown Dayton in 1945. DAYTON DAILY NEWS / WRIGHT STATE UNIVERSITY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

Credit: Contributed photo

Visitors take in the windows of Rike's department store in 1952.  Frederik Rike, owner of the Rike-Kumler Co., moved the Christmas window displays from New York City to downtown Dayton in 1945. DAYTON DAILY NEWS / WRIGHT STATE UNIVERSITY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
Caption
Visitors take in the windows of Rike's department store in 1952. Frederik Rike, owner of the Rike-Kumler Co., moved the Christmas window displays from New York City to downtown Dayton in 1945. DAYTON DAILY NEWS / WRIGHT STATE UNIVERSITY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

Credit: Contributed photo

Credit: Contributed photo

“Designed by critically acclaimed theatre and opera scenic designer and Dayton native Adam Koch, along with partner Steven Royal, the windows featuring animated elves, animals and other figures have been a holiday tradition for countless Dayton families since the elves first appeared in the windows of Rike’s Department Store in the 1940s,” stated a release from Dayton Live.

In 2018, two of the redesigned windows, “The Nutcracker” and “The North Pole,” debuted to the delight of thousands of visitors. Four more windows were revealed in 2019: “Woodland,” “Silent Night,” “Snow Day” and “Christmastime,” each with characters from the original windows as well as some newly discovered and donated figures.

“I live in New York now, but my mother still cuts out and sends me newspaper articles about Dayton,” Koch told the Dayton Daily News in 2019. “As a kid, one of the most exciting parts about Christmas in Dayton was pressing my face against the glass downtown at Rike’s to see that wonderful blend of theater, puppets, music and animatronics. I loved those windows!”

The Schuster Center is located at 1 W. 2nd St.

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The 46th annual Dayton Holiday Festival at Courthouse Square in downtown Dayton on Friday, Nov. 23, includes the Grande Illumination tree lighting, Dayton Children’s Parade Spectacular in Lights, Rike’s Holiday Window (pictured), live entertainment and more. CONTRIBUTED

The 46th annual Dayton Holiday Festival at Courthouse Square in downtown Dayton on Friday, Nov. 23, includes the Grande Illumination tree lighting, Dayton Children’s Parade Spectacular in Lights, Rike’s Holiday Window (pictured), live entertainment and more. CONTRIBUTED
Caption
The 46th annual Dayton Holiday Festival at Courthouse Square in downtown Dayton on Friday, Nov. 23, includes the Grande Illumination tree lighting, Dayton Children’s Parade Spectacular in Lights, Rike’s Holiday Window (pictured), live entertainment and more. CONTRIBUTED

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