Flashback: The Pink Pig at Rich’s, 1990

A monorail ride above the toy department—what more could a kid want?
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Rich’s Department Store

Photograph by Michael A. Schwarz/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP

Rich’s executive Frank Pallotta had an idea: If the annual Great Tree wasn’t enough to coax holiday shoppers to Rich’s downtown department store in the mid-1950s, then surely a monorail would be. Dubbed the Snowland Express, the rickety three-and-a-half minute ride over the toy department—and later the roof—cost a quarter, making it a magnet for kids and a moment’s reprieve for parents to study their shopping lists. When a headlight fell off a few years later, the store added a pig snout, painted the ride bubble gum pink, and named it Priscilla. Joined in the 1960s by her friend Percival, the clackety monorail became a Yuletide tradition for thousands of children until the downtown store shut its doors in 1991. After a brief stint at the Egleston Children’s Hospital’s Festival of Trees, the pigs were put out to pasture at the Atlanta History Center—only to be reborn in 2003 under a pink-and-white tent at Lenox Square Mall.

This article originally appeared in our December 2017 issue.

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