Rich's Officially Opening the Shopping Season
When Richs’ Department store was in downtown Atlanta their main store on Forsyth Street were two big buildings facing each other. They were connected by a multilevel bridge. On each level, normally, was an eatery, or some unique department that was best suited to be on a bridge.
Each year on Thanksgiving night they would have the lightening of the Rich’s Christmas Tree ritual. The tree was always gigantic and normally hauled from north Georgia.
There was entertainment galore. For instance a choir would sing on one level and when they finished the lights around them would go out, putting them into darkness and another level lit up with another group with another Christmas song. They had choirs, soloists, and the couple of times we went a well known country singer and perhaps a pop or rock singer that was popular at the time.
After the music and the kids were getting restless all lights on all levels went out and on top the silhouette of dark Christmas tree shape thing seemed to come to life with very bright Christmas lights and all levels lit up with more people singing about the birth of Christ.
It was a true Oooohhh and Aahhhhh presentation.
It reminds me of the priests that bless the shrimp boats or other fishing boats at the beginning of their season. Why? Because in a way, this is the bringing in Black Friday, so let the commercially-money-charged Christmas begin!
Which reminds of one time Rich’s had a statement on everything during the holiday season proclaiming RICH’S IS CHRISTMAS. Local civic leader Jennie Tate Anderson started a campaign condemning that statement. I think Rich’s withdrew it in shame.
Now, there is no Rich’s. Macy’s bought out Rich’s and changed the name. The tree lightening ceremony is still a big event at Macy’s Lenox Square Shopping Center. But to me it is just not the same. Maybe, that is because I have never been to that one.