WALLINGFORD — Downtown businesses are gearing up for the season with festive holiday window displays in hopes of winning an annual contest.
The Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce will again host the Holiday Window Display contest from Dec. 1 until Dec. 20, when the winners will be announced. Executive Director Dee Prior-Nesti said the event helps to support and highlight small businesses.
“This is one of my favorite events because the town just really shines,” Nesti said.
Past displays have included antiques, lights, music and outdoor elements.
Last year, Wallingford Flower Shoppe won the Best Overall prize for its Mary Poppins-themed display. Shop Manager Sal Greco said they put a lot of time, effort, and expense into window displays year-round, especially during the holiday season. The theme this year will be a vintage Christmas wedding.
“...people stop and pause as they walk or drive by,” Greco said. “It makes it inviting to come into the store. It piques people’s interests.”
Christine Rinere, owner of the Dressing Room, said this year’s display will be more traditional. Last year’s display focused on “giving back.”
“We just felt like it was the time and place to do it,” Rinere said. “This year is more traditional.”
Lydia Tuttle, visual merchandiser at the Dressing Room, said the display will have a winter theme with a blue and white color scheme. There will be an “ice princess” area featuring gowns from the shop, and another area with a flowing snow owl and hanging artwork. Tuttle, a local artist, will also incorporate her artwork into the design.
Judges will decide on Best Overall, Most Creative and Design and Decor. The People’s Choice is decided by the public.
Votes will be cast in the form of selfies taken by residents at their favorite window display and emailed to email@example.com. The local business with the most submitted selfies wins.
Residents who visit all window displays in the contest will have the chance to win a $50 gift card. Businesses have until Nov. 16 to register with the chamber for the contest.
“We’re going to see all kinds of variety in these displays,” Nesti said. “It’s really a sight to see.”
Businesses participating this year include: AJ Canelli Jewelers, Body and Soul Day Spa, Harriman Real Estate, Mister’s D’s, Shirt Graphix, Stuff Estate Services, The Dressing Room, Wallingford Victorian Inn, Words on Wood, Wallingford Flower Shoppe and Zaccariello’s Tailor and Formal Wear.