As early as 1919, the cartoon had become an annual event that people looked forward to seeing. The Tribune was already offering a high-quality print (and they still do at the Tribune store) that was ready for framing. (Today, you can also get it pre-framed as Liz did for me.)
And, it didn't stay just local. The 1928 Indiana State Fair had a feature exhibit on it. At the Century of Progress World's Fair 1933-1934, they made a life-sized diorama and even reproduced it in a fireworks display.
In 1920, a play was presented on it starring McCutcheon's son playing the role of the boy. Plays of it have been put on as recent as 1977.
One big dramatization involved 1,100 children performing it at Soldier Field in August 1941. Every year, Chicago's famous Olson Rug Co. park on the city's northwest side had a popular display of it using mannequins.
You can see McCutcheon's original black-and-white drawing at the Chicago History Museum.
More to Come. --RoadDog