Picture the year 1946. It's the Christmas season and you're in front of the Eaton's store in Winnipeg where the Once Upon a Christmas Holiday Exhibit first resided, before moving to Saskatoon.
It's the magic of children and adults alike in awe at the large display windows, watching the characters dance and all the moving parts. The display continued through 1976 and then was divided among the Eaton's stores in Saskatoon, Regina and Thunder Bay. The next year, the Saskatoon store purchased all the units and displayed them each year on the second floor of the Midtown Plaza until 1984. In 1987, the exhibit was donated to the Western Development Museum. Manager Jason Wall says the Holiday Exhibit is now celebrating 30 years with the WDM. He says what people might not know is that it's all powered by surplus war parts. You can see the display at the WDM through January 7th. The first year the WDM had the display, staff and volunteers racked up over 3-thousand hours fixing up the moving parts, and mending, painting and reconnecting electrical wiring. Volunteers continue to maintain the exhibit each year.