Holiday Downtown Window Decorating Contest offers festive holiday scenes

December 10, 2008
Santa Paula News

Merchants have gone all out with decorating their storefronts for the season and for the 4th Annual Holiday Downtown Window Decorating Contest.

By Peggy KellySanta Paula TimesMerchants have gone all out with decorating their storefronts for the season and for the 4th Annual Holiday Downtown Window Decorating Contest. This year’s theme is “Shop Santa Paula - What’s Spent in Santa Paula Stays in Santa Paula,” and Economic Development Specialist Rochelle Margolin said the competition offers “a spectacular sight. And we want the community to judge the ‘People’s Choice’ award for the best holiday window decorations.”The contest is co-sponsored by the Santa Paula Downtown Merchants Association and the City of Santa Paula in the belief that the holiday show of decorations not only reflects the spirit of the holidays, but also provides plenty of eye-candy for passersby.And there have been plenty of shoppers in the Downtown who have been enjoying the display, despite the economic downturn, notes SPDMA President Debbie Johnson. “With the gas crisis,” when fuel rocketed to more than $4 a gallon, “I believe people discovered they don’t have to go out of town, and can shop throughout Santa Paula and find what they need.”And now that gasoline prices have dropped and people have more money in their pockets, “Merchants are happy and customers are happy knowing they can shop in Santa Paula and still realize a savings - in time! They’ve discovered we have a lot to offer.”And, with all the publicity about Santa Paula being the place to be for special events, more out of town shoppers are “exploring Santa Paula because they’re hearing so many positive things about the city!” A new positive is the Holiday Boutique, where area nonprofits have banded together to create a “lovely holiday store in the downtown” where, Johnson notes, shoppers can not only purchase “perfect gifts and some very unique items,” but also benefit participating members.The Holiday Boutique, located at 939 E. Main St., has unique gifts from - among others - the Santa Paula California Oil Museum, fine works by the Santa Paula Society of the Arts, Santa Paula Rotary Club Pumpkin Patch cookbooks and art, Citrus Classic Balloon Festival memorabilia, Aviation Museum of Santa Paula aviation related items, and the Santa Paula Art Museum 2009 calendar and salsas.
The Holiday Window Decorating Contest has drawn new entries, and “We’re definitely excited about that!” says Johnson, who notes “It’s fun to study them during daylight, but at night, with all the lights, they’re really beautiful!”All windows reflect the holiday’s “Shop Santa Paula - What’s Spent in Santa Paula Stays in Santa Paula” theme, which “helps with not only the spirit of the season, but also boosts merchants’ sales.... Visiting the window displays is a lot of fun” that Johnson says is an “opportunity for families to enjoy themselves, get some exercise,” shop and take advantage of Main Street’s “plenty places to have dinner.”Beautification of the Downtown is also more evident with planters and hanging baskets filled with plants and flowers courtesy of Do-Right’s Nursery, owned by Diane and Dudley Davis. “Diane and Dudley have done a wonderful job with the flowers, and that, coupled with the holiday window display, showcases our beautiful downtown with its historic architecture that recreates the look of a real, turn of the century Main Street holiday.”The SPDMA, city and Chamber of Commerce collaborated on signage urging people to “Shop Santa Paula - What’s Spent in Santa Paula Stays in Santa Paula,” and, Johnson says, “They really, really standout!”Johnson notes that city staff deserves much credit for putting up “Christmas decorations, lights and banners, as well as lighting all the city buildings for the holidays. We really want to thank them for all their work; they put in countless hours doing these things... it’s a gift!”Ballots for the People’s Choice Award are available at participating merchants and must be returned to the Santa Paula Times, 944 E. Main St., by December 23. Winners, says Johnson, will be announced December 31.Holiday Window Decoration Contest entries include Cal West Real Estate (750 E. Main St.), V&V Harvesting (824 E. Main), Café de Velo (840 E. Main), H & R Block (908 E. Main), Flaun’s (910 E. Main), Santa Paula Family Resource Center (940 E. Main), Santa Paula Community Bank (948 E. Main), Heritage Valley ARC (116 N. 10th St.), Exotic City Empire (971 E. Main), Lucitel (109 N. Mill St.), International Engine Parts (111 N. Mill), Oh La La (110 N. Mill), Tisa’s Salon & Spa (947 E. Main), Santa Paula Coffee Company (943 E. Main) and Smokin’ Joe’s Restaurant (817 E. Main).

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