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Holiday displays light up The Commons

Local businesses get creative for window competition

Across The Commons, lights, Christmas trees and decorations cover the windows of stores participating in the Holiday Window Display Competition.

This year marks the first year of the competition which runs from Nov. 21 to Dec. 11, which is also the voting deadline for people to rate their favorite displays. The winners will be announced Dec. 14 and people can vote by scanning the QR codes located in the windows of participating stores or by visiting the voting link.

Deirdre Kurzweil, owner of Sunny Days of Ithaca, spoke about the store’s window display: a giant snow globe of Ithaca. She said the window competition has been incredibly fun, but a little stressful. She said she had hoped the snow globe display would be able to actually blow snow. However, that component proved to be a bit challenging to put together for this year.

“We want people to feel excited about the holidays,” Kurzweil said. “The Commons is a really special place … there’s all these exciting things, so it’s just one more cool thing to be able to walk around and check out.”

“Ithaca’s never had a snow globe and for nine years people have been trying to find a snow globe at my store … but it didn’t exist,” Kurzweil said.

She said that in addition to the snow globe display, the past 18 months have been spent making the snow globe real and sourcing materials. Now, the snow globes are in the mold stage and will be ready in the spring. However, Kurzweil said people can pre-order the snow globes in store for a few dollars cheaper.

She said all the businesses are working hard on their displays and hopes that people take the time to look and rate the displays.

Over at Home Green Home, owner Megan Vidler worked on a display that features a tree covered in little handmade mushrooms. She said many of the components of the display were from other local businesses like Ithaca Sheepskin and Hunt’s Tree Farm. She said Caleb Harrington — who owns Nothing Nowhere, the coffee shop located inside Home Green Home — used old coffee cups to create some of the mushrooms.

“I made all the little paper clay mushrooms on the tree and so those are all different and made out of aluminum and paper clay and then painted,” Vidler said.

The display in the window of Home Green Home. Source: Caitlin Holtzman/Ithaca Week

Harrington said materials were also taken from the Ithaca Reuse Center. Harrington said using old cups to make the mushrooms was a way to cut down on waste from the store.

Laura Larson, owner of Odyssey Bookstore located right off The Commons, has also put up a display in the bookstore’s windows. She said that despite not having much window space, the competition still seemed like a fun idea. Odyssey’s display features a wintry scene placed in the front two windows.

“Something that is complicated but important to us this time of year is to be as as possible,” Larson said. “Our window is heavy on the wintertime,

snow, there is a reindeer in there … and then featuring books that are winter-themed books … and a few with the different holidays that people are of course celebrating right now.”

She said it is fun to be a part of what is happening downtown and for local businesses to work together to put out these festive displays for people to look at.

Larson said she hopes all the holiday windows have something that attracts and appeals to everyone who walks by them.

Odyssey Bookstore’s display featured snowflakes, lights and holiday-themed books. Source: Caitlin Holtzman/Ithaca Week

“We want to make it fun and festive for you to be worth it to come downtown and go shopping,” Larson said. “Walk around, look at the windows, see what different people are doing and the more people who participate, the more fun it is.”

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