Downtown Chapel Hill

Downtown Blog

Holiday Window Display Contest Ends in a Sweet Victory

Competition was fierce along Franklin Street this holiday season. Instead of competing for holiday shoppers or diners, Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership’s Holiday Window Display Contest had merchants vying for best storefront display in Chapel Hill.

Twelve businesses participated in the yearly competition with a $600 top prize. Last year's contest winner, Franklin Street Yoga Studio, entered again this year with their “Winter Wonderland” scene. The People’s Improv Theater and Carolina Brewery were among the other notable West End participants. Carolina Brewery’s floral display was electric — string lights burned green and red at night.

Entries were equally varied and spectacular on the East End of Franklin Street. Side-by-side participants Julian’s, Underground Printing, and Cold Stone Creamery made the block more festive than ever, according to Alex Rike at Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership. “It’s a friendly contest, but I found that some merchants were very curious about their competition,” he said. 

The Franklin Hotel kept their “Childlike Nostalgic Wonder” display hidden under metallic wrapping paper and ribbon. They finally revealed the display during the Chapel Hill-Carrboro Holiday Parade. Voting on the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership’s website ended at 5:00 pm on December 23rd.

Nora Baer of Cold Stone Creamery was the first to inquire about the results. She had a lot to gain — “By the Fireside at Cold Stone” was atop the polls for much of the final voting. While d.b. sutton’s Stranger Things-inspired “stranger christmas” was not far behind, it was ultimately the cozy display at Cold Stone Creamery that took top prize.