For the third straight year, the Arts Council has sponsored a Christmas Decoration project among the city’s merchants, which has grown to 34 participants from the approximately 20 who joined in last year.
“Every year, this event has grown, and we are delighted,” said Sydney Fox Long, one of the project’s organizers.
While in prior years, only businesses on and around the square were invited to participate, Long said the committee expanded participation up and down Pelham Road as well.
Long said the members of the project committee — which also includes Emily Lipscomb, Constance Sims and Klaus Duncan — chose out-of-town judges to assess the local merchants’ window displays based on originality, creativity, special effort portrayed and eye-appeal. The committee then met to tally the scores and name the winners.
In addition to Gamecock Computers, other winners include Natalie’s Styling Studio in second place and Armstrong Florist and Gifts in third. Because of some ties in the scoring, there are seven honorable mentions: Mad Hatter Cakes, Java Jolt, R & J T.V., Crow Drug, Karen’s Kreations, Salon Alon and Accent Floral Design.
Long said the idea for the Christmas decorating project grew out of another holiday project. At one, time, she said, people in Jacksonville opened their doors for a holiday home tour. But when participation began to dwindle, the council looked toward the merchants.
Long said she’s pleased with the growth of the project and the participation from the city’s businesses.
“Everybody just decorated,” she said. “It was beautiful.”