West Acres Shopping Center, the largest mall in North Dakota, has decked the halls with a brand new custom designed Santa Wonderland brimming with sweet holiday splendor for all to enjoy! Center Stage Productions transformed an imaginative Santa set design into reality for this shopping center.
It all began with an open design competition organized by the West Acres Shopping Center. The search was on to find a local artist to create initial concept artwork for a brand new holiday display for the shopping center. Whimsical designs created by local artist, Emily Williams-Wheeler were just what West Acres management was looking for. Center Stage Productions was selected by the West Acres Shopping Center management team to bring their vision to life. Center Stage’s designers converted Wheeler’s drawings into a computer-modeled, three- dimensional winter wonderland and the highly skilled artisans at CSP custom fabricated the decor, using state-of-the art technology coupled with traditional craftsmanship and of course, a touch of holiday magic.
Note: Drawings on the left hand side were created by Emily Williams Wheeler.
The whimsically designed Santa setting overflows with curls, swirls and whirls all set to take guests’ imaginations on a magical holiday journey. Colorful confections and sweet surprises can be discovered throughout, sure to leave children and adults alike with visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads.
The grand entryway framed with scroll details, hand-painted in frosty hues, welcomes guests and sets the tone for a playful experience to follow. Along the journey to Santa’s home, visitors will spot several uniquely shaped evergreen trees of varying sizes, some trimmed with multicolored gumdrop garland and others adorned with green glittered swirls. Larger-than-life wriggled candy canes and peppermint lollipops cheerfully round out the sugary sweet setting.
How did we do it?
To achieve the curvy shapes and shiny finishes for the whimsical evergreen tree adorned with the gumdrop garland and the wavy candy canes, we used the same hard coat process and technology that we use to manufacture our play equipment.
Concepts are digitally produced via three-dimensional sculptures that are soft coated and air brushed for custom individuality. They are then painted and coated with our high-performing UV resistant shiny topcoat urethanes to provide a beautiful, durable finish that resists stains and allows for easy cleaning.
Little guests can share their big holiday wishes at Santa’s cozy new home complete with a curvy fireplace featuring a map pinpointing Fargo, ND, candy themed wallpaper and a whimsically shaped comfy couch. On the back of his house, kids will be fascinated by a giant interactive LED light wall where with just one touch, light and color will change in unexpected ways. The interactive LED light wall is touch activated and entertains young guests even after their visit with Santa.
Santa’s fanciful home is finished with a snowy rooftop, embellished with illuminated gumdrops. The curvatures found on Santa’s house were created by Center Stage’s fabrication crew using wiggle board (bendable plywood). They constructed elements using cutting edge equipment, paired with traditional custom craftsmanship techniques to build the set. Several quality control measures were put in place to ensure durability and longevity of the display.
Just look how close the computer generated model (left) is to the finished masterpiece of Santa’s chair and house (right). Slide the arrow from left to right to reveal the underlying photos.
The fun does not end at Santa’s house. Also included in the sweet setting is an activity area perfect for artful projects and a candy-cane striped talking tube, which enables children to speak and listen to each other from one end of the activity area to the other.
Here’s a short video clip from West Acres Mall Instagram account:
Building upon their already strong community connection, West Acres Shopping Center is inviting the public to help create the perfect name for their brand new Santa environment. Visitors can submit their name choice either in-mall or on Facebook and the winning entry will receive a West Acres Mall Card. With much anticipation, the winning name will be revealed during the week leading up to Christmas.
What’s your favorite part of the West Acres holiday display?
For more commercial holiday décor ideas for malls, please download a copy of our eBook.