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COVID can't cancel the legend of the Cherub

For more than 70 years, the cherub has come out of hiding to help kick off the holiday season.

INDIANAPOLIS — A holiday tradition that isn’t altered this year is the bronze cherub mysteriously appearing on the Ayres Clock the night before Thanksgiving.

For more than 70 years, the cherub has come out of hiding to help kick off the holiday season. It is said to keep a watchful eye on the holiday shoppers until Santa comes. 

This year, not only is the cherub shinier than ever, the iconic clock it sits on has undergone an extensive restoration.

Marsh Davis, president of Indiana Landmarks, said the clock and tradition are unlike any other in the city.

"It's a great affection. Historically for L.S. Ayers itself," Davis said. "A lot of really powerful memories with that institution, and many traditions."

And this year, the Cherub and clock will look better than ever thanks to restoration work.

"In 2016, one of our great members of Indiana landmarks was walking downtown. She noticed that the clock hadn't been working for a while so she connected with a group that actually steered this project to completion. They met with Indiana Landmarks and we thought, 'Well let's get this thing fixed.' And we started a little campaign that was amazingly well received by people from all over the country."

When you look up at the clock and think it's small, Davis says think again.

"It's deceivingly large. It's 8 feet tall, weighs about 10,000 pounds. You can fit two full grown men inside," Davis said. "So it's heavy, and it's 29 feet above the sidewalk."

If you would like to learn more about the clock and glory days of L.S. Ayers, Indiana Landmarks is hosting "The Magic of Ayres," an online discussion on Dec. 3.

So if you are downtown on Thanksgiving day, make sure you look up on the clock to see the Cherub.

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