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Downtown Improvement District Announces Window Decorating Contest Winner

The Downtown Improvement District is excited to announce that for the inaugural year of its Downtown Holiday Window Decorating contest over 700 people voted for their favorite window display, and winning 11% of the vote was Creative Women of the World! Thirty-one organizations participated in this year’s contest with the theme “Yesteryear”, making it a resounding, run-away success.

Creative Women of the World has been a Downtown staple for several years. It provides business training and marketing solutions to women around the world rising out of extreme poverty, human trafficking, and tragic disaster, through the power of their own creativity. They sell unique and responsibly-sourced products from around the world making them a one-of-a-kind shopping experience not only in Downtown, but in the entire region.

Creative Women of the World has been a community steward and helped lead the resurgence of retail in Downtown Fort Wayne. Their window celebrating diversity and beautiful goods available from around the world reflects the belief that Downtown is everyone’s neighborhood. Indeed, according to Lorelai VerLee, the founder and Executive Director of Creative Women of the World, the window display has been so inspirational for the store that they now plan to have window displays year-round.

Holiday window decorating is a tradition that had largely disappeared from Downtown for many decades after the losses of Wolf and Dessauer, Murphy’s, and other large anchor stores. With the loss of these stores it appeared that the magical memories they created with their window displays would cease to be created for thousands more of Fort Wayne’s citizens. However, like window decorating, retail is making a triumphant return to Downtown Fort Wayne—Holly Trolley Shopping recently had 70 stores participate in the one-day Downtown shopping event. There is no better way to celebrate the revival of Downtown retail than with the Downtown Holiday Window Decorating Contest!

Holiday Window Decorating Contest 2015:

HolidayFest in Downtown Fort Wayne is always the center of holiday activity in the region, and this year, the Downtown Improvement District added another opportunity for holiday fun that is sure to become a tradition in years ahead. The Downtown Holiday Window Decorating Contest is the chance for any Downtown business, organization, restaurant, etc. to join in the holiday cheer by decorating their window. Participation in the contest was completely free and windows simply needed to be done by the Night of Lights—when voting began. While thousands of people flocked to Downtown to see Santa and His Reindeer and the other lighting displays lit up for the season, they walked from one festive window to another only multiplying the magic of the evening.

Special thanks: to the Fort Wayne Embassy Theatre for keeping this tradition alive over the years with their wonderful displays and for all the support and expertise they provided to us and fellow participants. Also thank you to all the dedicated and creative groups that took part this year. For its inception this year was truly magical, and we can’t wait to see what you will come up with next season!

Though the voting for the Downtown Holiday Window Decorating Contest is over you can still walk through Downtown to view the windows. There are also many more holiday activities to come in Downtown Fort Wayne. Visit for more information on any holiday activities Downtown.