City Christmas decorating winners announced

Published 10:27 am Friday, December 29, 2017

Christmas may have come and gone but its spirit lingers, primarily with a display of holiday décor.

The City of Washington announced its annual Spirit of Christmas award winners this week. The competition showcases the best-decorated properties across town, a competition that’s judged by those who travel Washington streets the most: Washington Police officers.

The men and women in blue patrolling town were asked to pick out their top-decorated properties in four categories: Business, inside the historic district; Business, outside of the historic district; residential, inside the historic district; and residential, outside the historic district. First-place winners in each category will receive a $50 credit to their Washington Utilities bill; second-place winners, a $25 credit.

Winners of this year’s Spirit of Christmas awards:

Business, inside the historic district

First place: Stewart’s Jewelry Store, Market Street

Second place: The Missing Ink, West Main Street

Business, outside the historic district

First place: Perfect Perks, West 15th Street

Second place: Washington Racquet Club, Avon Avenue

Residential, inside the historic district

First place: William and Sonya Kenner, East Main Street

Second place: Mr. Ingals, East Main Street

Residential, outside the historic district

First place: Carl and Christina Smith, Thomas Place

Second place: Jane Alligood, Simmons Street

A BIT OF WHIMSY: Moving away from the traditional this year, Stewart’s Jewelry Store on Market Street created Santa’s workshop, where elves were hard at work stringing pearls. Stewart’s won the Spirit of Christmas competition for a business property inside in the historic district. (Vail Stewart Rumley/Daily News)

Stewart’s Jewelry Store went with a new theme this year, one that an army of elves working in the store’s windows.

“It’s Santa’s workshop. They’re making pearls, tying ribbons — it’s the Christmas elves,” said Stewart’s business manager Marvin Alligood.

Alligood and general manager Aaron Adams went for a whimsical, colorful Christmas, incorporating lots of Vietri Christmas-ware into the design.

“We wanted a change from the traditional. We’ve switch back and forth, back and forth, so this year we decided to do something different,” Alligood said, adding that the Christmas cheer in the windows brought in customers.

“We sold a lot of stuff out of the window,” he said. “It does draw people in.”

William Kenner, who won first place in the residential, inside the historic district category, didn’t even know the contest was happening, but was nonetheless excited to learn that he and wife Sonya had won.

Kenner said he didn’t plan a theme, but his lighting made an impression on passing patrolmen.

“I took chicken wire and started making shapes with it. I just wrapped some Christmas lights around them and hung them in the tree with bows on them,” Kenner said, with a laugh.

The contest is all in good fun and a simple way to encourage residents to spruce up and decorate for the holidays, according to Washington’s Community Development planner Emily Rebert, who organizes Spirit of Christmas. For Rebert, it’s also a way to tap into the nostalgia of Christmases past.

“I remember driving around as a little girl and looking at the Christmas lights. It’s always fun and it just warms your heart,” Rebert said in a previous interview. “It’s always nice to just drive around and look at everyone’s decorations and see what they did.”