Man restores figurines from former Dayton's Christmas display

A Twin Cities metro man restored figurines from the old Dayton's display for his own Christmas display inside his home. (FOX 9)

In the front window of a home in the west Twin Cities metro, a few pieces from Christmas past have been brought into the future.

Bill Ewald grew up going to the holiday displays in the eighth floor auditorium of the Dayton's in downtown Minneapolis. When Macy's closed the store in 2017, he bought and restored a dozen characters, including a half dozen animatronic figurines - from everything from Cinderella to a 'Christmas Carol' - to recreate some of that Christmas magic in his own home.

"I wanted as many animatronic pieces as I could get because I loved the movement as a child and I love it as an adult," said Ewald.

Ewald's family owned the Ewald Brothers Dairy that used to supply milk to Dayton’s and his uncle was a Santa at the department store for years. He is happy to use items from the iconic exhibit to spread some holiday cheer to a new generation of neighbors, family and friends.

"They love it,” said Ewald. “It's just wide smiles and joy. ‘Can I bring my kids? Can I call my sister? Can I FaceTime this?’ That's the best."

Ewald hopes his restored figurines will one day end up in one of the windows of the Dayton's Project. In the meantime, he plans to continue making Christmas memories by keeping a holiday tradition alive.

"It was important for me to do this because restoring history, maintaining history, instilling history in our children has been important to me since day one,” he said. “Our parents instilled it in us to take good care of what was handed to us to make sure it’s not lost and not forgotten."