IN PICTURES: Holiday window contest lifts spirits and pays the rent

Winter window displays have been a part of the American holiday experience for generations, and this year businesses in Bixby Knolls are getting into the spirit of it.

Twenty-four restaurants and retailers have dressed up their spaces with creative Christmas decorations and window displays, as part of a new holiday contest, “Holly Jolly Bixby,” created by the Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association (BKBIA). As the contest goes, locals are invited to take a stroll down the Bixby Business corridor to check out the displays and pick a favorite online.

And the winner will receive a month’s rent. Let us repeat that. The winner will receive a month’s rent provided by the BKBIA.

The funding comes from a portion of the CARES act money that was allotted to local business improvement districts, including the BKBIA.

“We’re able to help these businesses that really need our help right now,” Myra Pimentel, the BKBIA’s content manager who came up with the concept. “But we’re also helping them get promotion and get people into their doors.”

BKBIA reached out to their local businesses shortly before the contest kicked off on Nov. 28, Small Business Saturday. The businesses were given complete creative freedom to decorate how they saw fit that, as you’ll see below, generated some really unique ideas.

Andrea Gillespe, owner of Merchant Bakery on Long Beach Boulevard, said she’d usually only decorate the interior of her space for the holidays, so it was a lot of fun to decorate the exterior of her shop.

“Everything has just been so dull and sad,” Gillespe said. “I thought it was a great idea, not just for the free rent, but to kind of bring us back to life a bit.”

The last day to vote for the “Holly Jolly Bixby” contest is Monday, Dec. 28. BKBIA will announce the winner the following day. You can cast your vote, here.

Santa Clause and his reindeer grace the rooftop at bakery, The Merchant. Photo by Cheantay Jensen.

The participating businesses include:

  • Steelcraft
  • Derricks on Atlantic
  • The Better Half Boutique
  • Five Starr Pilates & Fitness
  • Long Beach Clothing Co.
  • Stateside Crafts
  • Wilmore Wine Bar
  • Malek Medicine
  • Deluxe Barber Shop
  • Salon Medusa
  • Coldstone
  • Furniture Consignment & More
  • And Then LB
  • Averyboo Arts
  • Dream Come True: Tea & Party Room
  • Gems & Jewels
  • The Merchant
  • MeeMa’s
  • Chef Tech Cooking School
  • George’s 50’s Diner
  • Pixie Toys
  • Cassidy’s Corner Cafe
  • Lucy’s Boudoir
  • Corked

To check out the displays, we’d recommend starting at Lucy’s Boudoir at 3925 Long Beach Blvd, and head north to San Antonio Drive. Then, head east, taking Atlantic Ave down to E. Wardlow Road.

Wear comfy shoes.

Owner Andra Gillespe and a member of her staff prepare to close their restaurant. Gillespe said the window art on her shop was painted by local sign artist Adam Gonzalez of Top Knotch Signs. Photo by Cheantay Jensen.

Furniture Consignment & More features a window display with Santa’s sleigh, filled with presents, paper snowflakes, miniature villages and deer and wicker angels wrapped in Christmas lights. Photo by Cheantay Jensen.

The Lucy’s Boudoir window display decorated for Christmas. Photo by Cheantay Jensen.

A giant bra made of materials traditionally used for Santa’s coat is also on display at Lucy’s Boudoir. Photo by Cheantay Jensen.

The window display at Dreams Come True: Party & Tea Room. Image courtesy Elena Effler.

Dreams Come True: Party & Tea Room. Image courtesy Elena Effler.

Dreams Come True: Party & Tea Room. Image courtesty Elena Effler.

Stateside Crafts holiday window display. Photo by Cheantay Jensen.

Long Beach Clothing Company went big with the painted windows for Christmas. Photo by Cheantay Jensen.

An employee stands at the cash register inside Long Beach Clothing Co. Photo by Cheantay Jensen.

Averyboo Arts window display. Photo by Cheantay Jensen.

Corked liquor store’s holiday display. Photo by Cheantay Jensen.

The front of Pixie Toys has been decorated for Christmas. Photo by Cheantay Jensen.

A shopper at Pixie Toys rummages through their merchandise Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. Photo by Cheantay Jensen.

Support our journalism.

Hyperlocal news is an essential force in our democracy, but it costs money to keep an organization like this one alive, and we can’t rely on advertiser support alone. That’s why we’re asking readers like you to support our independent, fact-based journalism. We know you like it—that’s why you’re here. Help us keep hyperlocal news alive in Long Beach.

Cheantay Jensen is reporter and award-winning videographer who covers entertainment, art, food and culture for the Hi-lo section of the Long Beach Post. And sometimes breaking news, you know, just to keep things interesting.
- ADVERTISEMENT -

More