Why: I grew up during the waning days of Downtown shopping, as suburban malls became all the rage. While my memories of these days are fleeting, I do have recollections of a Downtown adorned with decorations and just looking like an inviting place to shop. When I started collecting the Kodachrome slides, I actively looked for a Downtown shot that was similar to what I had remembered, and embodied the image of a Holiday Shopping Wonderland, but the offerings were pretty scant. Thankfully, a handful ultimately emerged, with this being one of the best!
When: December 1963, judging off of an April 1964 stamped mount.
Where: Redding, CA. The actual location this slide appears to be at Market and Yuba Streets, but it is pretty much impossible to pinpoint the location using present day online map viewing tools, as the commercial street was converted into an enclosed pedestrian mall at some point, and was in the process of being converted to an open air style mall when the image below was taken. The location seems to be about directly in the middle of the portion still enclosed in the below photo. Interestingly enough, while there is no Google Street view of this location, a view of California Street near Butte, slightly to the west, shows that the Christmas tree tradition continues in a slightly different location.
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Who: The central star of the photo is obviously the Christmas Tree, and while I can see that the trend of the Christmas Tree displays continue to the present day, I've not been able to determine when the practice started.
How (much): Picked up for $4.99 on ebay, and well worth it. Remarkably, this was the THIRD image of the Redding display that I picked up, as I had previously found two other great images of the tree and surroundings taken in 1961 from a different seller a few months ago. These two bonus photos, both of which I got for just over $5.00 total, are shown below.