CLEVELAND -- Christmas has taken over the Horseshoe Casino.
"Holidays at the Higbee" kicked off Wednesday morning with casino officials showing off a sleigh full of décor.
The building's 15 street-side windows each feature animatronic characters, enveloped by wintry scenes that include nearly 30,000 lights and 360 feet of "snow."
It's these same windows that Ralphie gazed through at the beginning of "A Christmas Story," which was largely filmed throughout the Cleveland area.
The scenes were created by world-renowned animatronic artist Lou Nasti, who is no stranger to downtown Cleveland. His work has previously been featured at Northeast Ohio's iconic retail landmarks Higbee's, May Co. and Halle Bros., as well as across the country and around the world.
The Horseshoe Cleveland is also commemorating Higbee's feature role in the 1983 holiday hit by placing 17 leg lamps on top of slot machine banks throughout the first floor.
Akron-based interior design firm Room 2 Room has returned this year to create a tribute to the classic Higbee's department store décor of decades past with a modern twist. Guests will be greeted at Horseshoe Cleveland's Public Square entrance by an original 22-foot Higbee's tree, which has been restored and gilded with more than 9,000 new LED lights and photos of the iconic department store.
Inside, the casino features nearly 20 original Higbee's trees that have also been restored and decorated with new lights and ornaments. Room 2 Room has recreated Higbee's eight holly covered arches and oversized jingle bells, which now hang 22 feet above the main casino floor. A custom twig tree garnished with more than 3,500 lights, branches and ornaments is located near The Spread buffet and Old Man Winter has paid a visit to the Vintage 51 Bar on the second floor, transforming it into a winter wonderland of white branches, icicles and snow-covered trees.
Visitors of any age are invited to enjoy all exterior décor and window displays, but only patrons 21 years of age and older are permitted inside the casino.