Shillito’s Elves Returning to The Foundry

Posted on November 15, 2023 by aatkinson

3CDC and altafiber Renew Partnership to Continue Cincinnati Holiday Tradition

CINCINNATI (November 15, 2023) – For the second year in a row, The Shillito’s Elves will brighten the windows of The Foundry with holiday cheer. Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC) and altafiber have teamed up again to continue this magical holiday tradition in Downtown Cincinnati. The Elves will return on Black Friday (Nov. 24) and will be animated from 11 AM to 9 PM that day to coincide with the annual Prolink Light Up the Square celebration on Fountain Square.

After appearing at various locations around the city for several years, the decades-old collection of mechanized figures that depict various Christmas scenes will be calling The Foundry home for the second consecutive year, with a location on Fifth Street next door to Five Iron Golf, just down the street from Fountain Square. The ever-popular display attracted a large number of visitors in 2022 – and is expected to do the same in 2023.

The Elves, who made their original debut in the windows of Cincinnati’s first department store, Shillito’s, in the 1950s, have a lengthy history in the Queen City. Now, they’re being displayed in The Foundry – 3CDC’s $51 million redevelopment of the former Macy’s department store. Dating back more than 70 years, the timeless holiday tradition continues to be a favorite of folks young and old, as people travel from all over the Greater Cincinnati area to see them in person.

“The Shillito’s Elves are a holiday favorite for many Cincinnatians, so we’re beyond excited to continue the tradition for another year at The Foundry,” Joe Rudemiller, VP of Marketing & Communications for 3CDC, said. “We remain grateful to altafiber for providing tremendous support to 3CDC’s downtown programming each year, and for their ongoing partnership in bringing the Elves back to the city. Their support, combined with artist Mark Trierweiler’s dedication to continuing the tradition, is what allows this unique holiday magic to go on.”

The Foundry’s proximity to Fountain Square makes it an ideal location for the Elves, with the ice rink, holiday tree and ongoing seasonal programming right around the corner. There is so much to do and see, it’s a one-stop shop for families to visit during the winter. The same six elves will be back this year, including The Mail Sorter, Little Woodshop, Pete the Painter, Lazzie Bear and Gift Wrap, and Elves at home, including Ralph the Piano Player, Ned the Newspaper Reader, and the four-stack of Bunkbed Elves restlessly dreaming of their upcoming toy deadline.

“altafiber is thrilled to partner with both 3CDC and Mark Trierweiler to champion this local holiday tradition for another year,” said Jennifer Howard, VP of Marketing and Execution at altafiber. “It’s a great way for locals and visitors alike to experience the city and enjoy some holiday nostalgia while supporting downtown businesses.”

Artist Mark Trierweiler, also known as ‘the keeper of the elves,’ has proudly taken on the responsibility of storing the Elves and keeping them in pristine, working order during the offseason. He is also known for creating installations and designing floats for Cincinnati holiday events of years past – but today, his greatest joy comes from bringing holiday magic to the community through displays like the Shillito’s Elves.

“The holiday season is my favorite time of year because I get to help people create holiday memories they’ll cherish for years to come,” said Trierweiler. “I work hard to maintain the tradition and quality of the display, and the smiles it brings make it all worth it.”

The Elves will be on display in the windows of The Foundry along Fifth Street from Friday, Nov. 24, 2023, to Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2024. Though they can be seen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, they are only animated at the following times:

  • – Fri.: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
  • & Sun.: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

All are welcome and encouraged to come see the Elves, which will supplement holiday programming less than one block away at Fountain Square, including daily ice skating and bumper cars. Learn more about the Elves and related holiday programming in Downtown Cincinnati at

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