|Archie the Snowman at Chapel Hill Mall in the 1980s. Photo used with permission from Bring Back Archie the Snowman Fan Page on facebook.|
by Joanna Wilson
Thanks to a grass roots movement organized through Facebook, Archie the Snowman has returned as one of Akron's favorite local Christmas traditions. If you grew up in the 1970s, '80s, or '90s in Akron, then you probably remember the giant-sized snowman at Chapel Hill Mall. Instead of sitting on a department store Santa's lap, children took their place in line for the opportunity to step up to the platform and share with Archie their Christmas wish lists. Archie not only would talk back but his eyes would flash!
I certainly remember Archie from Chapel Hill Mall. For several years in a row in the 1970s, I stood in line with my big sister to talk to Archie--but I always panicked before I got my chance to step up on the platform. Maybe this is finally my year?
|The new Archie currently at Lock 3. Photo used with permission.|
Though Archie was retired in 2004 when the mall was sold to another owner, this year you can see Archie again down at Lock 3. Cleaned up and rebuilt, Archie is currently a part of the activities in downtown Akron at Lock 3 which also include ice skating, riding the children's train, sledding, and checking out the holiday vendors in the cottages. Click HERE for the Lock 3 website for more details and times for those events.
|The next generation gets the opportunity to greet Archie the Snowman. Photo used with permission.|
You can see Archie the Snowman the rest of this month on Fridays 6pm-8pm, Saturdays noon-8pm, and Sundays noon-6pm. After Christmas, the Archie Encounter will be open December 26-31, noon-8pm. I wouldn't be surprised if there end up being just as many adults in line to talk to Archie as there are children!
For more details and information about how Archie was brought back, check out the Bring Back Archie the Snowman Facebook fan page, run by Tommy Uplinger.
Did you visit Archie when you were a child? Share your stories.