MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The BMO Harris Bank Holiday Display in downtown Milwaukee has been spreading holiday cheer for 42 years, and for many families, visiting the display has become a holiday tradition.
The display features more than 150 life-sized Steiff animals dressed as the characters made famous by E.T.A. Hoffmann's book The Nutcracker.
"We love the big Nutcracker in the middle of the display," Gerry Boisvert said.
Gerry and Madelyn Boisvert come to check out the BMO Harris Holiday Display to kick off their holiday season.
"I like it because it`s so colorful," Madelyn Boisvert said.
The display was created by designer Mark Hare.
"It`s our gift to the community, and it`s the gift that keeps on giving -- because for everyone who comes in and visits, BMO Harris Bank will donate $5 to Feeding America. That money will provide food to the nearly 400,000 people in eastern Wisconsin who don`t know where their next meal is coming from," Hare said.
Kristin Hildenbrandt remembers visiting the holiday display with her parents when she was a child. This year, she decided to pass along the tradition to her daughter Liesel.
"I can't believe how well things have been preserved. To see it through (my daughter's) eyes now is really special," Hildenbrandt said.
"That honors me that what we`ve done is something that they`ve want to remember," Hare said.
The BMO Harris Bank Holiday Display is open to the public Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. Weekends, and on Christmas Day and New Years Day, the display is open from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. You can check it out at 770 N. Water Street in downtown Milwaukee.
Those who visit receive a discount on tickets for The Nutcracker, performed by the Milwaukee Ballet.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the BMO Harris Bank Holiday Display.