It was a real life Santa in the front window of Hardinge St business Country Wedding & Event Hire and Party, Pack & Wrap which caught the eye of Deniliquin Business Chamber’s Christmas Lights Competition judges last Friday.
The jolly man in red waved to passers by from the showroom window, where he was enjoying an icy drink while sitting at one of the table and chair packages that are available to hire.
With the summer sun a little intense for the North Pole resident, a large misting fan was also a must in the display, which was completed using only products available from the business.
A dressed Christmas table sat in one window, and next to Santa was a rustic Christmas tree made from planks of wood.
Eight decorated business windows were judged as part of the competition.
The judges were Elders Residential’s Hamish Thomson, Pastoral Times senior advertising consultant Amy Gretgrix and ACE Radio 1521QN general manager Dave Robertson.
Mr Thomson said the winning window design, created by business owners Andrew and Donna Jefferies, was a standout because of the ‘live’ element.
‘‘It was a very close call between first and second, and what tipped us all over the edge was the real life Santa Claus.
‘‘We were told he had been there three days so it was good to reward that effort.
‘‘They also had some great general lights and decorations, and it was very bright and visible in a high traffic area.
‘‘The competition was judged entirely from the streetscape, and others could have won prizes for what they had inside the store.
‘‘All the participants did a great job, and there were other businesses who decorated but didn’t enter.
‘‘It’s intended to run the competition again next year to encourage more people to brighten up the CBD for the festive season, and we would encourage more businesses to get involved.’’
With each judge giving the windows a score out of 10, Country Wedding & Event Hire and Party, Pack & Wrap finished with a total score of 27.
For their efforts, the owners were presented with a Deni Gift Card loaded with $800.
In second place and receiving a $500 Pastoral Times advertising package was the Naponda Community Store in Napier St, with a total score of 26.
With a $500 radio advertising package, third place went to Wired Entertainment with a score of 23.
Other entrants were Hair Studio 115, Deniliquin Travel Centre, Sureway Employment and Training, Deniliquin Showcase Jewellers and Devour Cafe.
The competition was a Deni Business Chamber initiative, supported by Elders Residential, Pastoral Times, and ACE Radio.