You’ve probably read Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol.” You may have watched it on TV.
Now you can see the tale in downtown Sandusky’s windows, strolling down streets that once may have been walked by the author.
Various local organizations and philanthropists have helped the Sandusky State Theatre sponsor a series of 12 animatronic window displays on Columbus Avenue, Water Street and Market Street. Each illustrates a scene from the story. Note that most displays also include mice that mimic what the humans (and ghosts) are doing.
The displays run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Leaflets giving the route for seeing the displays are available in the Sandusky State Theatre gift shop from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
If you arrive after hours, you can print out this blog post for the route. The windows are numbered 1-12. Start at 129 Columbus Ave. and find the two windows in front of the theater, go north, look at the window in the section of the theater facing Water Street, cross Water Street to Bay Gallery, walk down Water to Wendy Kromer Confections (two displays, look carefully or you’ll miss the second), then walk south on Wayne to Market Street to San Bay (161 Market) and continue west on Market, viewing windows at Red Raven Books, Hero Zone and Creative Blessings (127 W. Market). Then double back to Columbus and walk back toward the theatre, looking in the window of James A. Bertsch Jewelers after you turn the corner. The last display is at 139 Columbus, in a vacant storefront next to Mona Lisa Pizza.
Dickens visited Sandusky in 1842 and described the experience in Chapter 14 of his book, American Notes. Dickens spent the night here “in a comfortable little hotel on the brink of Lake Erie.” Sandusky itself didn’t impress him. “The town, which was sluggish and uninteresting enough, was something like the back of an English watering-place, out of the season.”