State Street Holiday WindowsWonder abounds when you explore the Christmas window displays on Chicago's State Street.

In recent years, Steve and Amy have trekked downtown to evaluate the displays by the department stores. Who will win the State Street Showdown this year?

State Street Showdown 2010

  1. Introduction
    Chicago's 2nd year with a single tree, lots of Zambonis on ice rinks, new Disney Store on State Street, and a TRON Christmas Tree in the Walnut Room.
  2. Macy's: Disqualified – "Yes, Virginia"
    We take a look at the 2010 theme for the State Street windows by Macy's… "Yes, Virginia, we really don't know what the heck we are doing with this Marshall Field's location"

State Street Showdown 2009

  1. Introduction
    Cost-cutting abounds in downtown Chicago with a Charlie Brown-looking city tree and a missing train. Oh, and there's just Macy's with windows.
  2. Macy's: Disqualified – "Letters to Santa"
    "Hi, we're still Macy's. Have all you folks who loved Marshall Field's given up yet? Ha! We'd like to introduce you to our Satanic Robotic Red-Nosed Elves!"
  3. State Street Windows on Chicagosphere
    Our yearly coverage of the State Street windows catches the eye of Chicagosphere, part of the Chicago Tribune's Chicago Now blog network

State Street Showdown 2008

  1. Introduction
    Chicago wants the 2016 Summer Olympics, CBS2 moves into new digs, and it's a winter wonderland at Daley Plaza.
  2. Macy's: Disqualified – "The Great Tree"
    The story of The Great Tree in the Walnut Room is unfolded on the former Marshall Field's windows… and there's even a Chicago tie-in!

State Street Showdown 2007

  1. Introduction
    A very boring year for State Street Christmas windows as Carson's is no longer there, Sears doesn't care any more, and we're stuck with just one entry.
  2. Macy's: Disqualified – "The Great Tree"
    "Hi, we're Macy's. We know we raped and pillaged your Chicago icon, but that's OK… we're Macy's! We still care about Chicago… see, we even use Chicago words, like "Walnut Room". Love us!"

State Street Showdown 2006

  1. Introduction
    Things keep changing near State Street. Block 37 development looks questionable, stupid red Macy's bags are everywhere, and the city is snooping at Millennium Park.
  2. Sears: 3rd Place – "A Visit from Saint Nicholas"
    Two themes, No purpose. This train wreck of Christmas windows reflects Sears' utter lack of customer understanding. And the evidence of painter's tape shows they don't care either.
  3. Carson Pirie Scott: 2nd Place – "Classic Carson's"
    Carson Pirie Scott pulls off a surprising 2nd Place finish in the State Street Showdown. Though their "Classic Carson's, Classic Christmas" theme was weak, it was better than Sears.
  4. Macy's: Disqualified – "Mary Poppins"
    So, now Marshall Field's is Macy's. And we're just supposed to be fine with that. But this is Chicago. We aren't fine with that. Federated and Macy's, you suck. Go away.

State Street Showdown 2005

  1. Introduction
    What's new in downtown Chicago? How about actual construction on Block 37, nifty lighting displays in Millennium Park, the same old city Christmas tree, and more!
  2. Carson Pirie Scott: 3rd Place – "Sparkle"
    3 years in a row in 3rd Place, Carson Pirie Scott tries to impress folks with "Sparkle". But I think they forgot to turn the lights on in their Christmas windows. And their brains.
  3. Sears: 2nd Place – "Wish Big"
    New management and extremely poor leadership drop Sears down to 2nd Place. No storyline. No theme. Just lots of "Big" stuff. And blue shopping carts. Now that's Christmas!
  4. Marshall Field's: 1st Place – "Cinderella"
    Right before their name is changed to evil Macy's, Marshall Field's pulls out their first win as they take the top spot in the 2005 State Street Showdown. Cinderella is creepy.

State Street Showdown 2004

  1. Introduction
    Exploring the official city Christmas tree, checking out Millennium Park's ice rink, and wondering about the future of Block 37. Just a preamble to the Showdown!
  2. Carson Pirie Scott: 3rd Place – "Club Libby Lu"
    Proving that it's possible to be more mediocre than ever before, Carson Pirie Scott disappoints with their State Street Christmas windows by forgetting about the "Christmas" part.
  3. Marshall Field's: 2nd Place – "Snow White: The Fairest Tale of All"
    Snow White discovers that "dwarfs" are politically incorrect. The Prince discovers hair gel. And Marshall Field's discovers that people want Christmas window displays that are actually fun.
  4. Sears: 1st Place – "The Great Big Snow"
    An original story, fun attitude, creative presentation, and an actual Christmas theme once again push Sears into the limelight as the winner of our 2004 State Street Showdown.
  5. Meeting the Creator of Sears' State Street Windows
    In April 2005, Steve got to meet two folks responsible for the Christmas window displays at the State Street location of Sears. Learn about the windows' history and future!

State Street Showdown 2003

  • State Street Showdown 2003
    Comparing the State Street holiday windows in downtown Chicago. Featuring displays from Marshall Field's ("Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"), Carson Pirie Scott ("FAO Schwarz"), and newcomer Sears ("The Making of a New North Pole").