IN PHOTOS: Downtown merchant windows reflect the holidays

JUDGE'S FAVORITE: Hip Replacements won (in a tie with Purl's Yarn Emporium) for this "Strange Things"-inspired design.

Each year, local merchants around downtown Asheville decorate their shop windows in celebration of the season — and to win bragging rights as the Downtown Holiday Windows Contest winners. The competition, held by the Asheville Downtown Association, features an annual theme: this year’s is “Light up the holidays.”

Winners, selected by a team ADA members of media personalities (including this writer), include Hip Replacements and Purl’s Yarn Emporium, in a tie for Judge’s Favorite; Patton Avenue Pet Company for Best Interpretation of Theme; and The Chocolate Fetish for Best Use of Merchandise.

Participating businesses also include Asheville Community Theatre, Asheville Museum of Science, Diamond Brand Outdoors, Duncan and York Modern Market, Embellish Asheville, Fired Up! Creative Lounge, HomeTrust Bank, Horse + Hero, Keating Dental Arts, Kilwins, Mast General Store, Sensibilities Day Spa, Southern Charm, Spiritex, Ten Thousand Villages, Tops for Shoes, Traveling Chic Boutique, Wedding Inspirations and the Weinhaus.

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