(Image courtesy City of Boston)
Innovative Fashions and Bridal will be representing Mattapan Square Main Streets in Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s "Deck the Windows" contest; the first time the neighborhood has had an entry in the competition.
The yearly event welcomes businesses from across the city’s 20 Main Street Districts to decorate their storefronts and compete for residents’ votes.
“I so enjoy decorating the windows for each and every holiday. We are delighted to be chosen as the district winner this year,” owner Beverly White said in a statement. “We believe in making possible, the impossible.”
Although this is the contests’ third year, this is the first time the Mattapan Square Main Streets has had an entry after it was designated a Main Streets District in 2010.
“It’s [the contest] a huge opportunity for Mattapan to get some visibility in a fun way,” said Nancy Rachel Rousseau, president of the Mattapan Square Main Streets Board.
Rousseau said 10 businesses in Mattapan Square went all out this year decorating their storefronts and that the added holiday spirit really helps attract visitors to the square.
“We see a lot of traffic on Blue Hill Avenue and we’re hoping it [the decorations] gets more customers to stop and see what’s going on in Mattapan,” Rousseau said.
City-wide close to 400 businesses participated in this year's competition that drew 9,000 votes in 2011, Sheila Dillon, chief and director of the city's Department of Neighborhood Development, which oversees the Main Street program, said.
"This contest really fosters a lot of neighborhood pride," said Sheila Dillon, chief and director of the city's Department of Neighborhood Development, which oversees the Main Street program. "The merchants get competitive and it creates an excitement in the neighborhoods."
Boston Main Streets is a citywide program that works to revitalize commercial districts through a combination of technical, financial, and design support.
"You can really feel it [excitement] this year," Dillon added. "The economy is slightly better, we had a lot of events this year, and we have a festive atmosphere in the districts."
Dillon, like Rousseau, also highlighted the importance of shopping local.
"The money you spend stays in the neighborhood," said Dillon. "For the most part those businesses are hiring your neighbors and local people."
Innovative Fashions and Bridal, a 30-year business currently located on Blue Hill Avenue, has a lot on its shoulders as it goes up against businesses from across the city.
The winner of the contest will be named Dec. 20 and along with the recognition, some bragging rights come with the title.
To find out more about the contest and contestants, click here.
To vote for your favorite window or storefront, click here.