WALLINGFORD – It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas downtown as businesses prepare for the season with elaborate window displays and decorations in hopes of winning the annual Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce holiday contest.
“It’s absolutely beautiful,” said Dee Prior-Nesti, chamber executive director. “People love it.”
For the past few years the chamber has been hosting a Wallingford and North Haven business window and decoration display contest. This year, the contest officially kicks off during the 10th annual Holiday Stroll downtown on Friday, Nov. 30, and runs until Thursday, Dec. 20. During the stroll, businesses and restaurants will be offering specials and prizes to participants.
Over a dozen businesses will be displaying their holiday decorations and window scenes, including Mr. D’s bakery, Craig’s Jewelers and The Dressing Room.
“They’re all coming up with ideas,” Bill DeFusco, owner of Mr. D’s, said of his staff. “There’s some ideas that have been floating around like a Candy Land theme, maybe something to do with gingerbread.”
Last year the bakery’s display consisted of a cardboard fireplace and a teddy bear sliding down a hill on a toboggan. This year, DeFusco said he’s hoping to win the contest.
The staff will vote on a theme soon and start creating the display shortly after.
“Everything is going to be made from scratch, just like our cupcakes,” he said of the process.
“Wallingford has such a spirit,” DeFusco said of the festivities. “We love to give because the community gives so much.”
Across the street Christine Rinere, owner of The Dressing Room, is also getting into the holiday spirit with ideas for her window display. Rinere, a past contest winner, said she’s hoping to create more award-worthy windows, this time with a special message.
“This year I felt really strongly that I wanted to put out a really positive message because so many people see the windows during the holidays and there seems to be so much tension in the air this year,” she said.
The theme of the display and decorations will be the phrase “Small Acts Change The World.” It will include an antique Santa Claus in one of the windows.
“I hope it just gives people a little reminder that just doing something nice for someone, a little act of kindness, really can change someone’s life,” Rinere said.
The winners will be announced Thursday, Dec. 20 in four categories: most creative or innovative, decor and design, best overall, and people’s choice.
“You can take a selfie in front of your favorite window display and text it to us, we put it on our Facebook page and whoever gets the most votes, most selfies, wins the people’s choice award,” Prior-Nesti said.
Other businesses participating as of this week include, Words on Wood, We Are Micro, Elite Creations, Shirt Graphix, Wallingford Flower Shoppe, The Nail and Wax Room, Stacey T’s Treasures and Artisian Boutique, Library Wine Bar, Wallingford Victorian Bed and Breakfast, Meche Beauty Salon and Coalition for a Better Wallingford.
More information can be found by calling 203-269-9891.