Shillito's Elves To Be Displayed at Fountain Square This Holiday Season

The elves will be on display at the Foundry beginning Friday, Nov. 25.

click to enlarge The Shillito's Elves working hard. - Photo: Provided by 3CDC
Photo: Provided by 3CDC
The Shillito's Elves working hard.

One of Cincinnati’s most beloved holiday traditions is returning for another year, but this time in a new location.

The famous Shillito’s Elves will now be on display at the Foundry near Fountain Square in downtown Cincinnati. The decades-old elves first got their start in the storefront window of Cincinnati’s first department store, Shillito’s, in the ‘50s. The mechanized figures depict various Christmas scenes, like the elves building toys in Santa’s workshop and sorting mail to Santa.

3CDC, who is teaming up with altafiber to bring the elves to Fountain Square, says their new location will be perfect as families come to downtown to make other holiday memories, like ice skating at Fountain Square, taking their pictures in front of the Christmas tree or shopping for gifts at stores in downtown and Over-the-Rhine.

“The Shillito’s Elves are synonymous with the holidays in Queen City, and we’re thrilled to be bringing back this wonderful tradition so it can be enjoyed by a new generation of Cincinnatians,” Joe Rudemiller, 3CDC’s vice president of marketing and communications, said.

The elves were brought back in 2021 to the former Leader Furniture store at Findlay Market after a four-year hiatus. 3CDC says the collection has changed through the years, but several elves are returning this year: the Mail Sorter, Little Woodshop, Pete the Painter, Lazzie Bear and Gift Wrap and Elves at home, including Ralph the Piano Player and the four-stack of Bunkbed Elves.

The elves are slated to return Friday, Nov. 25. They will be animated from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. that day to coincide with the annual Light Up the Square event at Fountain Square.

You can then see the elves until Tuesday, Jan. 3. They will be animated Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and then from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays, they will be animated from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The Foundry, 505 Vine St., Downtown. More information on the elves and other holiday happenings: www.downtowncincinnati.com/elves.


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