What It Looked Like Wednesday: Christmastime at Sattler’s, 998 Broadway

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

For generations of Buffalonians, Christmas didn’t begin without the Sattler’s Christmas parade and a visit to the Toys Annex across the street from good ol’ 998.

1951 ad

1951 ad

Starting in 1947, Sattler’s played host to a Santa Claus parade up Broadway that was patterned mostly after the New York City Macy’s parade — featuring gigantic balloons tethered by ropes and the big man himself as the grand finale.

image from the 1962 parade.

Image from the 1962 parade.

It was estimated that 40,000 people lined the parade route on a cold, snowy November Saturday for the parade in 1962. That year, there were 40 large balloons and about 20 marching units —including the Buffalo Police marching band.

from the 1962 parade

Image from the 1962 parade

The 1964 parade was announced by WKBW’s Danny Neaverth and featured Buckskin Joe and the Fantasy Island Stagecoach.

14-nov-1964-sattlers-parade

Click to enlarge 1964 ad

In 1967, Santa arrived at 998 via helicopter, greeted by WWOL’s Ramblin’ Lou.

sattlers1967

Of course, seeing Santa was great—but the real thrill was shopping for the toys which Santa might bring.

1954 (Buffalo Stories archives)

Even once you outgrew toys — Sattler’s always had plenty to fill your Christmas list, like this 1963 record album list including “The Singing Nun” and “Best of Joan Baez.:

sattlers1963

The store’s odd and interesting array of bargains, big events like their Christmas parade and that first-of-its-kind “Shop and Save at Sattler’s, 998 Broadway” jingle made the store a destination for people from all over Western New York.

Buffalo Stories archives

Through the 1960s, Sattler’s became an anchor tenant in a handful of Western New York’s new shopping malls.

The Boulevard Mall Sattler's, 1980. (Buffalo Stories archives)
The Boulevard Mall Sattler’s, 1980. (Buffalo Stories archives)

Sattler’s went out of business in 1982, but the landmark Broadway-Fillmore store was stripped of the Sattler name a year earlier. For its final 13 months, it was known as the 998 Clearance Center. It carried castaways from the Main Place, Boulevard and Seneca Mall locations.

Sattler’s was one of many stores anchoring the Broadway-Fillmore shopping district in the mid-60s. Buffalo Stories archives

The 998 location was torn down in 1988.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon is a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. writing about the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The storyteller and historian has written six books, worn bow ties since the 80s, and is the News Director at WECK Radio. A 25 year Buffalo media veteran, Steve's contributed more than 1400 Buffalo History stories to The Buffalo News, worked at WIVB-TV, Empire Sports Network, and spent ten years as a newsman and News Director at WBEN Radio. He's also put his communication skills to work as an adjunct professor, a producer of PBS documentaries, and even run for Erie County Clerk. Steve's Buffalo roots run deep: all eight of his great-grandparents called Buffalo home, with his first ancestors arriving here in 1827.