Major award up for grabs in Patchogue’s first holiday decorating contest



“Like the Stanley Cup, the winners will get to keep it for a year and next December proudly display it in their storefront.” — John Murray, III, of Kilwins Chocolates

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas in downtown Patchogue, and business leaders are making a push to get Main Street decked out even more.

To that end, the Greater Patchogue Chamber of Commerce, with help from the Patchogue-Medford Library, will be running a storefront decorating contest later this December.

“The thought process will be getting the businesses downtown to step up their decorating to make the village that much more beautiful,” said John Murray, III, the contest’s brainchild and owner of Kilwins Chocolates.

The voting will begin Dec. 13 and the polls will close on Christmas Eve.

The prize?

A replica leg lamp from the 1983 holiday classic, “A Christmas Story.”

“The leg lamp is a major award, obviously,” Murray said. “So it will get presented to the winner during Midnight on Main St. on New Year’s Eve. And, like the Stanley Cup, the winners will get to keep it for a year and next December proudly display it in their storefront until New Year’s, when it will be turned over.”

The chamber’s executive director, David Kennedy, who is holding the leg lamp in chamber’s North Ocean Avenue office for safe keeping, said the contest will coincide with the chamber’s 12 Days of Christmas campaign. (More below.)

That campaign will also run from Dec. 13-24, during which time the village will be offering relief from parking meters downtown. 

“The Colony Shop and O’Neill’s have already decorated, and I’m sure they are more coming,” Kennedy said.

Library staffers will be going door-to-door in the next few days, informing all the businesses about the contest and the details. 

Nancy Senzamici, a children’s librarian at Patchogue-Medford Library, said the staff there just ran a successful scarecrow contest among the businesses and this will operate in a similar way.

Except the library is going high tech for the holiday contest. Aside from paper balloting, which will be available in all the participating stores for shoppers to vote, QR codes will be on display in windows.

Anyone with a QR code reader on their phone can vote electronically.

“You would scan with your QR reader and there will be a drop-down menu to choose your favorite location,” she said. This way, if you’re tech savvy you can do it the QR way. And if you’re not you can do it the paper and the pencil way.”

Other 12 Days of Christmas promotions (more to come):

Stocking-Stuffers Saturday

On Saturday, Dec. 17, the chamber will be setting up a booth in front of Patchogue Theatre and inviting people to register to receive a stocking they can stuff with receipts from local stores. (Children can stuff their stockings with tokens or treats.)

Each $10 spent will be a good for a raffle ticket with the chance to win the grand prize of $500, as well as other door-style prizes. The drawing is at 5:30 p.m.

Starry Nights Late Night Shopping

On Thursday, Dec. 15, businesses downtown are being encouraged to stay open until at least 8 p.m. to accommodate people to looking to shop after work. Participating shops will be providing ambiance and atmosphere.

Photo: David Kennedy kisses the leg lamp outside the chamber office Wednesday.

(Credit: Michael White)

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