Westerville has started something organizers hope will become a new holiday tradition, with animated window displays in Uptown Westerville this year.
Dennis Blair, design chairman for Uptown Westerville Inc., said the project is being funded this year by the Westerville Fund and Otterbein University. He said Robin Andes and Katie Giffin with Uptown Westerville Inc. did all of the design work and students at Otterbein built and have helped maintain the displays.
There are displays featured in six stores: Amish Originals, 38 N. State St.; Deja Vu, 11 N. State St.; Morgan’s Treasure-Custom Jewelry, 31 N. State St.; A Twist on Olives, 44 N. State St.; Pure Roots Boutique, 18 N. State St.; and Westerville Antiques and Rustic Revamp Decor, 2 N. State St.
“They’re (the scenes are) playing for the whole month this month and won’t come down until after Christmas,” he said.
Blair said organizers with Uptown Westerville Inc. talked about the concept two years ago but didn’t work on it until about a year ago. He said this effort used $10,500 from the Westerville Fund to supplement donated time and materials.
He said Deja Vu has a display patterned after the movie “Elf,” starring Will Ferrell.
Morgan’s Treasure has jewelry popping out of gift boxes, that feature actual jewelry items from the store. He said the moon featured in the display is a laser-etched photograph of the moon from NASA.
A Twist on Olives has an Italian-themed display with angels and the display at Westerville Antiques features a tiny village with a movable Santa and a ice skating rink that was made out of a rotating turntable by the Otterbein students, Blair said. Pure Roots has a “bear-themed” display, he said.
Amish Originals has a display of skiers going down a hill.
“That has been the hardest to maintain,” he said, because of the mechanics involved with getting the skiers to move.
Shelley Morgan, co-owner of Morgan’s Treasure, said they were approached by Uptown Westerville Inc. to participate in the display. She said they were interested because the shop window is always decorated for Christmas.
“We just thought it would be fun to have something more animated in the window. The whole idea was to remind people of the Lazarus (department store) window and I used to go down there (downtown Columbus) as a kid, so that sounded fun to me,” she said.
Morgan said the shop has garnered more interest since the display has been up and running.
“The window is getting a lot of looks,” she said. “It is bringing some interest,” she said.
She said it was unveiled on Black Friday, Nov. 29.
Blair said that this year is a test for the project, but if it is successful, Uptown Westerville Inc. hopes to raise more money to have increased presence next year.
“Hopefully we can make things Macy’s quality,” he said.