Mr. Jingeling, keeper of the keys, returns this holiday season


(Photo courtesy: Mr. Kringle and Company)

CLEVELAND (WJW)– The Cleveland Christmas character Mr. Jingeling is getting new life this holiday season.

The character will be in front of the building, located at 1228 Euclid Ave., on Nov. 27 from noon to 6 p.m. as part of downtown Cleveland’s Winterfest. But first, he’ll make he debut at the Christmas Connection at the I-X Center from Nov. 19 to Nov. 21.

Mr. Jingeling, known as the keeper of the keys, was a staple at Halle Bros. department store in downtown Cleveland. He was one of Santa’s elves and held the keys to the workshop, called the Treasure House of Toys. After the store’s closing, he continued to entertained children for decades from Higbees to Tower City and on television.

Don Beck, who’s played Santa for more than 25 years, will become the seventh man to step into the iconic role.

“When I put on the costume, Don isn’t there anymore.” Beck said. “I’m honored to join an elite list of people who have carried the ring of keys.”

Mr. Kringle and Company, which is behind Kringle’s Inventionasium Experience at Tower City, recently acquired the rights to the character and gave the green suit a makeover. But Mr. Jingeling will still have his signature oversized keyring.

“For 15 years, I have been knocking on his door, and in 2020 that door finally opened and I was finally able to acquire the rights to this beloved character who means so much to me and others. It’s a reminder to persevere. If something doesn’t work out the first time, keep trying and never give up,” Jimmy Langa, chief creative officer for Mr. Kringle and Company.

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