Windows shine in Ellicott City holiday contest

Wreath and Basket.com takes first-place honors

December 16, 2007|By Sandy Alexander | Sandy Alexander,special to the Sun

Wreath and Basket.com charmed a panel of judges in the Ellicott City window-decorating contest this year with snow, greenery and wooden Nutcracker characters based on the well-loved ballet.

The store was named the first-place winner among 16 entrants in Ellicott City's historic district. This was the second such contest organized by the Ellicott City Restoration Foundation Inc.

Judges from Howard County Tourism and Patuxent Publishing - both of which provided prizes - joined County Council Chairman Courtney Watson in choosing the winner this month. Wreath and Basket.com received a quarter-page ad in Maryland Life magazine.

Owner Sherry Kendall was excited about the honor, said her mother, Annie Adams, who owned a store called Annie's in the same spot for 25 years.

Adams said she always decorated the windows during the holidays, and now her daughter is "doing it in my footsteps."

The "people's choice" winner, chosen by ballots submitted by the public, was Cottage Antiques for the second year. That store's lively display of Santa figures, wooden carolers, trees and ornaments earned it an ad in the Ellicott City Visitors Guide.

"We always like to win the people's choice award," said storeowner Blair Jett. "So many people that come in off the street are delighted by how the window looks."

The antiques store's window design changes every year because the staff fills it with items that are for sale, Jett said. This year, the purchaser of a marble-topped sideboard featured in the display had to wait until Wednesday, after the balloting was closed, to take possession.

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