Video Vault: A camel, helicopter Santa and Toys for Tots -- Christmas in Cleveland 1961

Looking for work and Toys for Tots 1961

CLEVELAND - As we march through the holiday seasons 50 years ago, the third of our Video Vault installments of Christmas in Cleveland takes us back to 1961, the previous installments were 1959 and 1960.

The first 19 seconds takes place in an employment office in 1961 then off to Public Square for Santa's arrival and the lighting of the Square.

Season's Greeting on the Illuminating Building, a very stylish star on the Society Bank Building, some blurry stars on the Cuyahoga and Williamson buildings and a giant tree of lights on Higbee's brighten the season.

The Cleveland Press Christmas parade marches through Playhouse Square passing by the old Woolworth's and Bonwit-Teller department store. Santa is there of course along with floats and marching bands but we also see an elephant an a somewhat unhappy camel.

A very-60s Santa arrives via chopper at what looks to be Westgate. Santa, accompanied by a large elf who reminds me of Mister Jingeling, is swarmed by the kids.

Off to a Christmas party next, and then Toys for Tots.

Toys for Tots dates back to 1947 and the 1961 Cleveland campaign looks like a big success with traffic and people lined up as the East Ninth Street exit of the Shoreway.

We close with a Christmas display and the Cleveland Press Helping Hand Fund Special. A young boy gets to explore the controls of a steam locomotive which looks as if it's on the rails of Cleveland Union Terminal under Terminal Tower.


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