Who says there aren’t hills in Central Illinois? These youngsters took advantage of the chilly, snowy weather over the 1946-1947 New Year’s holiday to go sledding down an icy stretch of South Lee Street in Bloomington.
During the Great Depression 80 downtown Bloomington merchants staged a “Christmas Caravan” promotion to boost holiday retail sales. The vehicle in the background, equipped with a calliope and pulling trailers loaded with prize giveaways, passed through more than 50 Central Illinois communities. The idea was to generate excitement for a promotion involving downtown shoppers receiving gift certificates with each purchase.
Ice skating was once popular at Miller Park on Bloomington’s west side. Fifty-seven years ago, mid-December 1958, three young women (left to right) Helen Johnson, Judy Johnson, and Raylene Mitchell finish prepping before heading for the ice on the park’s smaller lagoon.
Back in early December 1965, these six-year-old first graders from Lincoln School in Bloomington could sympathize with the wishes expressed in the grating holiday novelty song, “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth.”
The December 3, 1929 Christmas parade in Bloomington featured Santa Claus, six marching bands, a drum corps, and eleven floats, among many other attractions. Mr. Claus is seen here out front, his sleigh pulled by six reindeer.
On December 7, 1960, Community Players Theatre broke ground for the playhouse on 201 Robinhood Lane. Seen here (left to right) are architect Harry Riddle, Jr. and C.E. Mulliken, Community Players building chairman, both of whom are handling building plans. Next to Mulliken is Alvin Keller with the City of Bloomington and Community Players President H. Dean Litt with shovel.
From this 1926 publicity still we’d have to say Bloomington’s Fred Hitch captured the essence of the character Charles Dickens described as a “squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner!” From the mid-1920s into the 1990s, the Scottish Rite Temple (now the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts) staged a version of the “A Christmas Carol.”
The “Page from Our Past” feature in Sunday November 8, 2015's Pantagraph delved into the history of the Rhythm Rollers, Bloomington’s very own roller skating dance team active from the 1930s to the 1950s. Seen here is a rare action shot, taken at a 1947 or 1948 performance at the Miller Park bandstand on Bloomington’s west side.