CLEVELAND — No one captures the feeling of the holiday season in Cleveland quite like Leon Bibb.
To start out our "A Very Cleveland Holiday Special," Leon took a nostalgic look back at our city at Christmastime through the eyes of a girl named Maggie in 1963.
From the lights of Public Square. to the magic of Higbee's and Halle's, you are taken on a journey through time to a downtown area full of hustle and bustle.
As Leon wrote of his memories growing up in Cleveland, "Downtown gives a nod to the big holiday windows of a former department store. Photos from that era transport us to a by-gone time when Greater Clevelanders were elbow-to-elbow in the streets and stores anchoring Public Square.
The Christmas shopping days of my childhood were mostly in Public Square. Holding on to my mother’s and dad’s hands, we would scurry along the department stores—the big ones, because the big department stores were in downtown Cleveland in those days."
Maggie wonders why the lights are brighter and the colors seem new during this time. "It's not just the time, it's the place. Cleveland's the holiday town," she is told.
And that's how our show begins.
Watch the complete "A Very Cleveland Holiday Special" in the player below:
More holiday reflections from Leon Bibb: