Window shoppers turn decor gawkers with downtown decorating contest

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – Downtown Bowling Green is getting into the holiday spirit this weekend.

Local businesses are gearing up for the holiday season with a window decorating contest.

“The idea behind the new window decorating contest was actually given to us by one of the downtown retailers when we were talking about things we could do to add or enhance the downtown lights up event experience and the holiday feel around downtown Bowling Green,” said Telia Butler, Bowling Green’s Downtown Development Coordinator.

The decorating itself isn’t for the first time but the contest is, in an effort to get the community to engage with downtown merchants and bring back a Christmas village feel to downtown.

Butler said when the malls moved in to Bowling Green in the late ’60s and ’70s, storefronts began to move away from the area, but now the city and county have come together over the years to bring downtown back together.

Owner of Barbara Stewart Interiors Susan Hoechner said she remembers the downtown shops being decorated for the holidays every year.

Hoechner said, “We had so much more retail downtown when I was a child and very few offices. If the offices were here, they were upstairs, but now we’re getting more retail, and what I love is the fact that there’s offices that are down the first level that are decorating.”

When we asked Hoechner how she felt about the contest, she said ,“Oh I’m thrilled. The more we get to decorate the windows and and throw a little contest in there, always gets people fired up, and, you know, they want to do their best to win, so it’s kinda like the more the merrier, and it just brings more excitement to downtown.”

Once a voting link survey is posted, you can vote for your favorite storefront on the city’s Facebook page as well as the downtown page starting on Black Friday.