ERIN - Merchants are excitedly getting ready for the annual Window Wonderland event happening on Nov. 19, which is finally happening in-person rather than online.
“We’re excited to finally have this happen in-person, but to be honest, I haven’t thought too much of what we will do in terms of our window display,” said Chris Bailey, owner of Brighten Up Toys and Games.
“Every year, my team and I go for a different theme, which is the surprise, but we make sure it reflects our store and the products we sell. We have two large windows and two windows. Sometimes, we cover up all of the windows and tie them together in some way.”
For other merchants, however, they started thinking about their window display earlier in the year much like Ellen Blefgen McKay, owner of The Weathervane.
“I start planning my window display in January or February when I’m buying inventory for the holiday season later on in the year,” said McKay.
“I try to think about a different theme each year: something that’s relevant or on ‘trend’ for the year and centre the theme around that. I like to have some movement and light with my decoration; something that will look great at nighttime.”
Window Wonderland has become a Christmas event and tradition at the Town of Erin, where downtown merchants and store owners decorate their windows with store merchandise, Christmas decorations and lights. Stores that are participating will have their windows covered up, and will unveil their windows during the event.
After the window unveiling, the Christmas tree lighting will follow suit. This year, Erin residents are welcomed to decorate the Christmas tree with decorations brought by the town, or if they want, they can use their own decorations.
“This event commemorates the beginning of the holiday season,” said Mayor Allan Alls. “It also encourages residents and tourists to shop and support local businesses.”
At Tuesday’s council meeting, Alls put forward a motion regarding granting $15,000 of funding for Window Wonderland, which council unanimously approved.
“The $15,000 is available for the use of merchants in Erin for the Window Wonderland, if they need it,” said Alls.
Bailey noted that the biggest difference this year is that there won’t be crowd stoppers such as the horse and carriage ride due to COVID-19, but hopes that people will still go around downtown to shop and look at the window displays.
“It’s just a fun tradition. My wife and I go after work just to walk around and see other people’s windows.”
Angelica Babiera, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, GuelphToday.com