San Francisco SPCA and Macy’s Partner for 31st Annual Holiday Windows

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More than 9,000 animals have found homes through the holiday adoption event!

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – October 31, 2017 –– Celebrate the season by joining the San Francisco SPCA and Macy’s Union Square for the 31st unveiling of the iconic Holiday Windows on Friday, November 17, at 5:00 p.m. The window displays, which have become one of the most beloved symbols of the holiday spirit in San Francisco, will once again feature adorable – and adoptable – cats and dogs who need loving homes. San Francisco pastry chef Yigit Pura will partner with Snoopy to unveil the windows, and children from the De Marillac Academy Choir will provide the holiday soundtrack.

This year’s windows celebrate the bonds between family and friends. Titled “The Perfect Gift Brings People Together,” the theme centers on the joy of sharing holiday season festivities with those we love. Generations of visitors will delight once again, seeing the cuddly adoptable faces ready to share the holiday in a new home.

In 2016, 257 animals found homes during Holiday Windows and nearly $100,000 was raised to provide year-round support for the SF SPCA’s lifesaving programs. Over the last 30 years, Holiday Windows has made it possible for more than 9,000 animals to find loving, permanent homes.

The Macy’s 2017 Holiday Windows feature whimsical and dreamlike visuals, utilizing motion, light and music to bring Santa’s workshop to life. Each detail of the windows is designed for the comfort of the animals in partnership with the SF SPCA, ensuring that every need is considered. Holiday nostalgia will envelop each passersby as they walk around and glimpse Santa at the North Pole making his final preparations, with an LED display showing wishes being fulfilled, as the countdown to Christmas continues. Then the real magic of togetherness is celebrated with every pet that finds a new loving home.

“Combining the magic of holiday giving and finding these animals new homes, along with the importance of being with those we love throughout the season, makes these windows one of our favorite projects all year,” said Macy’s Visual Manager, Rise Hixson. “Guests from all over the Bay Area and the United States love watching the adorable animals in these windows. Spreading that cheer at this time of year is magical.”

“Thousands of lives have been saved through the Holiday Windows event, thanks to our partnership with Macy’s,” explained Dr. Jennifer Scarlett, SF SPCA President. “Every holiday season the San Francisco community comes together to help our animals find new homes. This is our biggest event of the year, and the tradition truly brings out the magic of the holiday spirit.”

Holiday Windows relies on volunteer support. The short two-hour shifts involve greeting the public, collecting donations, and directing people to the SF SPCA adoption center inside Macy’s. No prior training is required, and groups are welcome to volunteer together. Learn more at sfspca.org/holiday (this site will be live on November 1).

This year, the magic will expand beyond the windows with a special space on the 6th floor where visitors will be able to see more adoptable animals and even schedule time in the wildly popular SF SPCA Cuddle Experience. Cuddle sessions will be available from 11am – 1pm and 5pm – 7pm on weekdays and 10am – noon and 4pm – 6pm on weekends.

On Thursday, November 30, visitors are invited to get their pet’s photo taken with Santa at the special Santa Paws event. Champagne and treats will be provided and visitors will also be able to mingle with a few members of the SF SPCA Animal Assisted Therapy program, including LiLou, the first-ever therapy pig, and mini horse Cocoa. Tickets will be available in early November at sfspca.org

Below is a brief description of each of the two animatronic windows, the only windows not housing animals, that serve as the centerpiece of the display:

Macy’s Union Square Holiday Windows Fun Facts

  • Macy’s was the first department store to feature Christmas window displays and has been enchanting generations of spectators since the early 1870’s.
  • R.H. Macy began the tradition of animated windows in 1899 at Macy’s original 14th Street location in New York.
  • Each Christmas window display is a project nearly a year in the making as plans for the next year’s windows begin in January, almost immediately after the windows are taken down.
  • During peak hours during the holiday season, thousands of people will pass by the windows.
  • In 2010 the windows at Macy’s Union Square were noted as one of the “10 Great Places to Press Your Against the Glass”.
  • Nearly 10,000 dogs and cats have found new homes through the Holiday Windows.
  • Six out of seven windows are pet containments built solely for the animal’s comfort, featuring temperature control and quick access for SF SPCA personnel.  The seventh window features animation with light displays and technology.
  • It takes a dedicated team of more than 250 of Santa’s helpers to bring the windows to life including Macy’s display artists, graphic artists, sculptural artists, animators, carpenters, electricians and music and sound experts.
  • Installation of the Christmas windows at Macy’s Union Square takes 10 days and nights.
  • The windows will run through January 1, 2018.

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