By Matthew Waldrep
Members of the Fashion and Design Club have created window displays being featured at downtown businesses for the first ever “Holly Jolly Grand Rapids.”
Presented by Independent Bank, “Holly Jolly Grand Rapids” began on December 2nd and will have holiday themed window displays at 46 participating businesses.
“[Holly Jolly GR] is inspiring the community to come downtown and make it a Christmas destination,” said Fashion and Interior Design faculty member Marianne Bockheim.
“Holly Jolly” began as a two day, city-wide shopping event in downtown Grand Rapids. The lighting of the Christmas tree at Rosa Parks Circle last Friday evening launched the shopping spree. Shoppers were encouraged to spend Friday evening and Saturday shopping at local retail outlets and enjoying the artwork submitted as window displays. Shoppers that participated in the event not only had a chance to support local businesses, but also enjoy a variety of festive window displays.
“We had a lot of fun,” said Jessica Swagman, a member of the Fashion and Design Club. “The tree lighting ceremony was really neat.” Swagman along with Jonicah Joy made a display entry for the Gerald R. Ford Museum. Swagman said it was a great learning experience to work with one of the museum’s curators.
The Fashion and Design Club entered displays for Tanaz: Express Hair Boutique, The Gerald R. Ford Museum, Family Pediatric Eye-Care, and Superior Watch Repairs.
Shoppers were encouraged to vote for their favorite window display. Voting began on Friday, December 2nd and will continue until December 13. Two winners will be announced on December 14th following the voting period. There is a panel of three judges including Designers Chris Koens and Ashley Cole, and Executive Director of the West Michigan Center for Arts and Technology Luisa Schumacher. The juried winners will receive a prize of $500; the People’s Choice Award (granted to the popular vote) winner will also receive a $500 award.
All voting is done electronically on the event’s website at hollyjollyGR.com.