TERRE HAUTE —
The third annual Miracle on 7th Street will light up the Crossroads of America om Friday, as downtown merchants blend competition with cheer.
Participants will get into the mood this afternoon as judging takes place in holiday window decorating contest. Businesses between Poplar and Cherry streets and First and 14th streets have put their yuletide spirit on display.
Martha Crossen was inside her Wabash Avenue store, River Wools, Wednesday afternoon, preparing for the event.
“Our goal with the window decorating contest is to get local businesses to spruce things up for the holidays,” she explained, estimating participation at about 15 stores. All local businesses in the downtown vicinity were invited to participate, and judging will take place this afternoon with winners announced Friday.
Next door, LaRysa Orman, owner of Images Photography at 667 Wabash Ave., said she was getting ready to start decorating.
“Yes. I’ll probably be up late tonight doing it,” she said with a laugh Wednesday afternoon.
Images Photography will also host photo opportunities with Santa Claus from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday.
“It’s a great opportunity to come out and buy some art, then get a picture with Santa Claus,” she said of Friday’s downtown festivities beginning at 6 p.m.
In addition to the windows, local businesses will set Christmas trees outside their buildings Friday morning, partnering with area nonprofits in a tree decorating contest. Trees donated by the Optimist Club will be dressed for display as nonprofits compete for prizes, Crossen said.
“We have 20,” she said of trees set for decoration Friday. Judging will take place later that afternoon.
Meanwhile, inside the Ohio Building, scores of gingerbread houses were being carted in for the second annual gingerbread house decorating contest.
Terry Hogan of Smith Barney on Wednesday brought his office’s entry in, titled “North Pole Christmas.”
About 30 groups entered homemade gingerbread houses, decorated with candy canes, mints and icing. Judging was set for Wednesday evening, with visitors invited to vote for the favorite with monetary contributions.
Proceeds will benefit the Salvation Army, St. Ben’s Soup Kitchen, the 14th & Chestnut Community Center and the Tribune-Star Basket Fund.
Hogan said Miracle on 7th seemed off to a good start with the contests getting underway.
“And it looks like we’re going to have great weather,” he said of Friday night.
Brian Boyce can be reached at 812-231-4253 or firstname.lastname@example.org.