Each year, the Asheville Downtown Association challenges local merchants to show their festival spirit by decorating their shop windows in seasonal style. It’s exactly the sort of contest where everybody wins — especially passersby who get to gaze in on microworlds. This year's submissions included a manger scene populated by dogs, angels in retro finery, a chorus of sock monkeys, an elegant paper dress and more than one colorful explosion of lights, stars, ribbons and snowflakes.
While tinsel bombs always have a place in our hearts, a team of judges spent one chilly evening making the rounds and tallying scores. The final results? Hip Replacements was awarded "Judge's Favorite"; Kilwins won for "Best use of Theme"; Fired Up! Creative Lounge was awarded "Best use of Merchandise"; and Sensibilities Day Spa won for "Wow! Factor." More info at ashevilledowntown.org.