SALT LAKE CITY — Last year the Deseret Book flagship store window was filled with gingerbread cookies. This holiday season, the "Mechanics of Christmas" window display will be focused on toy trains. The window will officially be open to the public Thursday, Nov. 15, at 5 p.m.
The display contains a machine that produces wooden train cars that begin as wood blocks and end as a painted train car loaded with saltwater taffy. The train track runs throughout the store and ends near a bucket of taffy that is there for the taking. Paper conductor hats are available to those who are interested, as well as a hands-on opportunity to make the train's whistle blow.
Adam Nelson, the creator of the window display, said this new tradition is different from the old-time ZCMI window displays but is something new that will hopefully become a part of many famillies' Christmas traditions.
"It's about going and doing things with your family and that's what we wanted to recreate, that tradition of coming down with your family and enjoying city center," he said.
Months of preparation have gone into this design. Nelson explained several of the elements he focused on with his team when they first started brainstorming this year's window last February.
"It needed to be visually stunning, it needed to have good movement from a visual standpoint and also a mechanical standpoint, the mechanics needed to be complicated enough that they intrigued people but they needed to be not so complicated that we couldn't actually build them," Nelson said. "It needed to have flair to it. It couldn't be boring."
Although he does take a few months off, Nelson admitted that he has already started brainstorming ideas for next year's window.
Sarah Sanders Petersen is an intern for Deseret News where she writes for Mormon Times and other feature articles. She is a Communications major and editing minor.