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And a free train ride on level six after viewing the windows
Myer Christmas Windows 2013, Gingerbread Friends (Jan Brett)
Santa Claus made a spectacular entrance in 2013, abseiling down the seven story facade of the Myer flagship store on Bourke Street in Melbourne, with a team of elves twinkling down behind him. Marina Prior dazzled onlookers with her rendition of the classic song "Angels We Have Heard on High", from the 2013 Spirit of Christmas CD.
Over the past 20 years the team at Stage One, led by John Kerr, have been responsible for the Myer Christmas Animated Windows, from the inspiration, through to creation and the tricky task of installation in the windows of Myer Melbourne. Last year's windows took seven months to produce, with 40 artisans contributing over 17,000 hours of labour to create the whimsical world of Gingerbread Baby, with little more than raw materials such as clay, timber, steel and fabric.
A number of technological developments have added to visitors' overall enjoyment and experience of the Myer Christmas Windows in recent years. Last year, QR codes featured on every Christmas window, to access behind the scenes video footage of the windows in production. Visitors simply held up any smartphone to the QR code, followed the instructions, and then were able to access exclusive footage showing how the windows come to life, from inspiration right through to the final creation. There were also narrated video storyboard screens in each window, which added a new layer of detail to the book's plot.
Each year, the new theme of the Christmas Windows remains a heavily guarded secret, while artists, animators, and craftspeople are creating their magic for up to twelve months from birth of concept, to bring this Christmas tradition to Melbourne.
The Myer Christmas Windows have in previous years, brought to life Christmas stories including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1999), The Wind in the Willows (2001), The Twelve Days of Christmas (2002), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2003), The Polar Express (2004), Russell's Christmas Magic (2012) and last year's "Gingerbread Friends" by the renowned American children's author, Jan Brett.
A long-standing tradition for many families, the Myer Christmas Animated Windows are visited by an estimated 1.2 million visitors from Australia and overseas each year (source: Penguin Publishing).
The Myer Christmas Animated Windows are available for viewing from the unveiling event at 10:30am on Saturday, 8 November, to Sunday 5 January 2015. Windows run daily from 7:30am – 1:00am (with sound stopping from 10:00pm daily, out of respect for city neighbours).
After viewing the windows, Myer Melbourne has a range of free Christmas activities in store. Customers can go to level six to visit Santaland, where children can ride the Santaland Express (free), have their photo taken with Santa (charged per package, booking recommended), and post their Christmas wish-list letters to Santa at the North Pole.
Stay around in the City for fun; visit Santaland on level 6 in Myer