NEWBURYPORT — Forever Green Newburyport announced the winners of its eco-friendly decoration contest this week, wrapping up its first Spirit of Renewal Holiday Tour — an effort made to drive local business.
More than 30 shops downtown and at The Tannery Marketplace participated by offering Forever Green’s passport, which customers could use to earn stamps and win prizes from Nov. 30 through the end of December.
For the decoration contest, merchants were given an old bicycle wheel — donated by Riverside Cycle in Newburyport — to use with other recycled materials for their holiday decor. Judges voted to choose Best Overall, Most Green and Most Creative, and customers used the passport to submit votes for People’s Choice.
Stonewall Kitchen won Best Overall for its holiday decorations using its products such as sauces and jams. In the category of Most Green, JackRabbit took the prize for its use of recycled materials and effort to encourage people to recycle their sneakers.
For Most Creative, Market Square Jewelers repurposed its bicycle wheel using jewelry to give off a Ferris wheel vibe. And for People’s Choice, customers voted for Paper Moon Card Shop, which adorned its bicycle wheel with animals and greenery.
“We had a lot of positive feedback,” said Gretchen DesAutels, member of the Forever Green committee and owner of Grass Roots Antiques and Handmades.
“When we went around, collecting all of the passports, every shop owner said, ‘We hope you do this again next year,’” she said.
Deb Green, another committee member and owner of Greetings By Design, agreed that the experience was positive. She said they hope to involve the city more in the tour next year.
For the pilot year, DesAutels was pleased to see a few dozen participants when counting the ballots. “I think it brought the community together in a fun and festive way.”
Other businesses to participate in the holiday tour were Brass Lyon, The Cottage, The Dragon’s Nest, Face Food, French Twist Salon, Green Plum Vintage Goods, Lively Kids, Meraki, O Bag, Salt Cellar, Saracy’s Flower Shop, Soak & Shoreline, Souffles, Vaalbara, Valerie’s Gallery, BC Essentials, Commune, Elephant’s Trunk, Figtree Kitchen, Life Is Good, Polished Salon & Boutique, Vintage Chic Anew, Vintage Faire Antiques, When Pigs Fly, Beach Plum Flower Shop, Port Plums and Newburyport Olive Oil, Jan Lorrey Flowers, Plum Island Coffee Roasters, and Changing Tides Cafe & Donut Shop.
Forever Green Newburyport is a committee made up of Green, DesAutels, Troy Bowers and Kitty Krajci. For more information, go to www.facebook.com/forevergreennbpt.