The L.L. Bean campus is the centerpiece of the spectacle of lights and decorations that illuminate Freeport this time of year.

But people coming into town from either end of Main Street are dazzled before they even see the L.L. Bean display. Merchants who would be decorating their shops for the holidays in any case have a little added incentive from FreeportUSA, which presents awards to the top three participants in its Holiday Decorating Contest, as determined by a public vote on the FreeportUSA Facebook page. And just because L.L. Bean isn’t participating, doesn’t mean that competition isn’t stiff. Azure Cafe, owned by Jonas and Kate Werner, has won the Holiday Decorating Contest two years running. The Hilton Garden Inn finished second and Island Treasure Toys was third last year.

Shay Johnson, owner of Sashay’s, at 116 Main St., is getting in on the decorating contest act for the first time. Johnson, who opened her women’s clothing boutique this past summer, said she had to get up to speed quickly.

“Submissions were due (Nov. 25), the Wednesday before Thanksgiving,” Johnson said. “It’s a little intimidating because there’s a lot of national stores in Freeport. But I love the enthusiasm in town for making this town decorative for the holidays. I’m all in.”

Johnson applied snowflake stickers on Sashay’s windows, along with silver Christmas ornaments, white lights and white pom-poms.

“It’s white elegance,” Johnson said. “I save the colored lights and the craziness for home.”

Lights, nutcrackers and, of course, jewelry are the backdrop for a snowy window at Earrings & Co., located at 2 Mechanic St. Store clerk Jemma Macias, who handles the store’s website and marketing, is also good at decorating. Macias spent four hours decorating the Earrings & Co. storefront window two weeks ago.

“It’s sparkly and snowy,” she said. “We love doing the windows. We change them at least once a month. A couple of months ago, we had an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ theme.”

Anita Demetropoulos is shooting for her second straight top-three finish at Island Treasure Toys on 20 Bow St. Demetropoulos and her daughters tried something new for the decorating contest this year.

“It’s a woodland theme,” said store manager Jennifer Fryant, who was standing next to last year’s award, which hangs by her counter. “There are trees with little woodlands animals, lights and snowflakes, with presents all wrapped up. It’s a lot of fun.”

Contest voting occurs online at the FreeportUSA Facebook page until Dec. 18.

The holiday décor outside Sashay’s on Main Street in Freeport is much the same as the inside – tasteful.A snowy window with lights, nutcrackers and jewelry grace the window of Earrings & Co., on Mechanic Street in Freeport.The storefront at Island Treasure Toys on Bow Street has a woodlands theme this year.


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