Damon Cline @DamonCline1
Which downtown business has the best holiday display? Local officials are asking you to decide through a public vote.
Downtown officials are hoping to boost commerce during the slow holiday season by encouraging shopkeepers to “deck the halls” with Christmas decorations to lure visitors.
The Downtown Development Authority and the Augusta Convention & Visitors Bureau are calling the contest/promotion the “2020 Making Spirits Bright Downtown Decorations Crawl.”
The goal is that locals will bring friends and family downtown to see and vote on the displays while sticking around to dine and shop at stores and restaurants.
Augusta DDA Director Margaret Woodard said the decorations crawl is “another way the DDA is committed to promoting small businesses and bring people downtown” during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has negatively affected commerce in the central business district.
The initiative encourages people to view the displays by walking along sidewalks or by driving by participating businesses. The Augusta CVB’s Making Spirits Bright Downtown Decorations Crawl map is available at www.VisitAugusta.com/making-spirits-bright.
“‘Let’s go see the lights,’ is a popular saying and activity for families during the holiday season,” CVB President and CEO Bennish Brown said. “Creating a special atmosphere will draw people in and provide our visiting friends and relatives a fun experience and memory of Augusta.”
A committee of the two organizations will judge displays Friday in two categories: “Most Whimsical” and “Most Original Use of Lights.” The public will get to vote on the “People’s Choice Award” through Dec. 23 by casting votes through the CVB’s website or in person at its Augusta & Co. office/store at 1010 Broad St.
“The People’s Choice Award is designed to create public interest and to continue the promotion until the end of the year, increasing opportunities for downtown businesses,” Woodard said.
The initiative can be followed on Augusta & Co. social media channels on Facebook and Instagram.