SPOKANE, Wash. - It's the most wonderful time of the year. The hot chocolate is warm, the Christmas carols can be heard on the radio and the historic Crescent window displays are back up.
Yes, Spokane is growing, and yes, things are changing- but one thing that is staying the same is the magic in downtown Spokane from The Crescent Department Store.
The store closed many years ago, but every Christmas as of late it lives on.
“Five generations of my family are coming to meet here and downtown Spokane,” Genevieve Bennett said.
Bennett is not from Spokane, but her family is and today she’s taking part in a Spokane tradition, seeing the Crescent window displays with her family.
“It just needs to see any decorations—knowing what’s behind this and how it was in the Crescent that’s cool,” Bennett said.
Bennett isn’t the only one who thinks it’s cool. Elizabeth Hooker, who works for the Downtown Spokane partnership, thinks it pretty neat as well.
It’s become her responsibility to preserve these pieces of Spokane history, and the whole family gets involved.
“Every single year around the holidays we get numerous phone calls,” Hooker said. “Oh my gosh, I remember when the crescent department store would open up their windows the day after Thanksgiving and it was so much fun to come downtown for the holiday season.”
Like the last few years, the partnership is working to keep that fun alive, and this year they’re doing it with a small scavenger hunt.
“We get people who will call up the office and say I have a hat box that my mom bought a special hat in 1965 would you like to add to your collection,” Hooker said.
Naturally, Hooker happily accepts the small Crescent donations and this year she says - keep your eyes peeled, because in each window are hidden treasures from the “Ghost of Spokane Christmas Past.”
“These items might seem small, but they add to the collection,” Hooker said.
Little moments that add up to big memories—for people from Spokane and from out of town.
“If they were just kept in storage then no one would get to appreciate it and they’ve been around for a long time so it’s just history,” Bennett said.
From hat boxes to ornaments, and buttons from breakfast with Santa the Crescent is alive and well.
The displays are lit Sunday through Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m. and Friday to Saturday from 12 to 10 p.m.
The partnership is also doing a coloring competition this year for kids to take part in, they can win so cool prizes. The coloring sheets are a reprint from the 1973 Crescent coloring book that was gifted to kids after they met Santa.
The downtown partnership is also asking that if anyone has a piece of a Christmas display that was purchased at their closing fire sale in the 80s if they’re interested in donating it, they will happily accept it.
My favorite story every year. The @DowntownSpokane partnership has put up the vintage Crescent Department store window displays! But this year— there’s a little twist! pic.twitter.com/aWOfwtpqCS— Bradley Warren (@bradmwarren) December 13, 2022