WALLINGFORD — The Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce’s annual holiday window and outdoor display contest is accepting entries until Friday.
The event, which highlights small businesses downtown, was created four years ago to accompany the Holiday Stroll put on by Wallingford Center Inc.
“...we decided to contact businesses in town to see if they wanted to participate and we got quite a good turnout...people wanted to decorate their windows and have people stop by to take selfies in front of their windows,” said Maribel Carrion, operations manager for the Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce. “They send them to us and we enter these into a drawing to win a prize.”
With the Holiday Stroll cancelled due to COVID-19, Carrion said that she thinks more businesses are open to participating in the display contest.
Ivy Black, manager of The Nail & Wax Room on Center Street, said it is the first year the business is participating.
“I actually have been researching on Pinterest to see if I can find some ideas and we have a ton of decorations already,” Black said.
Gary Ciarleglio, senior director of sales and marketing for the Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce, said that as of Tuesday, 16 businesses have signed up for the contest.
“Usually we’re anywhere from 12 to 14, but this year, it’s 16, so we’re very happy with it,” he said.
The Dressing Room on North Main Street has been participating since the contest started.
“Our store is in a prominent location on the corner, right in the center of downtown, so a lot of people see our windows and enjoy them,” said owner Christine Rinere.
Salon Nathaniel participates as a way to support the community. Its Wallingford location is also on North Main Street.
“Just to add a little bit of fun, little pizzazz to our windows,” said owner Nathaniel Bottone. “Just holiday spirit and obviously giving back to the community.”
This year, the presenting sponsor of the contest is Gaylord Speciality Healthcare.
“This seemed like a wonderful way to support the chamber and support all of the downtown shops and businesses as well because the holiday window and outdoor display contest encourages people to come into Wallingford to shop local, to check out all the stores, so to me, it’s a win-win,” said Tara Knapp, vice president for external affairs at Gaylord. “...we’re proud members of the chamber and it’s a way to support our community...”
All of the participating businesses must have their windows decorated by Dec. 1. People can vote for their favorite display and enter to win a $50 gift card by sending selfies to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline to vote is Dec. 19 and the drawing will take place the next day.
A committee of chamber board members will judge the displays. The categories are best overall window, most creative, people’s choice award and best design and decor. Winners will be announced Dec. 21.
Ciarleglio said they will be promoting the contest in conjunction with Shop Small, a campaign that begins on Black Friday. They will be promoting the event through social media and other modes of advertising.