Macy’s City Creek unveils its candy windows, keeping one Utah holiday tradition alive

Candy decorations are filling the windows at Macy’s City Creek again — one of the few downtown Salt Lake City holiday traditions to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.

Six holiday candy window displays were unveiled Thursday. Rather than a big event, the windows were revealed quietly to a group of photographers and TV cameras.

This year’s windows — which will be on display through Christmas — were handcrafted by Neil Brown, a creative director for a Salt Lake City property development company, and Holly Jones, a designer and illustrator who lives in South Jordan.

The Macy’s window display is one of the few holiday bright spots left in downtown Salt Lake City, after cancellations prompted by the surge in COVID-19 cases.

Salt Lake County announced Wednesday its four downtown arts venues — Abravanel Hall, Capitol Theatre, Eccles Theater and Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center — would close starting Monday through December. The move scrambled the holiday performance plans of the Utah Symphony, Ballet West and Utah musician Kurt Bestor.

And The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints last week announced it would fence off its plaza at Temple Square from public access, leaving visitors to view the annual display of Christmas lights from the outside or through the internet. The church canceled the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square’s annual Christmas concerts back in August.

The Macy’s windows are tied to the department store chain’s “Believe” holiday promotion, which aims to raise up to $1 million for Make-A-Wish, the charity that aids critically ill children. Macy’s donates $1 for every letter to Santa dropped off at one of its stores, or sent online at macys.com/believe, between now and Dec. 24.

The candy windows first were displayed in 1972, at the ZCMI store where the Macy’s City Creek now resides. The tradition halted after 2007, but Macy’s revived it in 2012.