Historic Wilmington Holly Jolly Holiday Stroll 

During the Holly Jolly, people were invited to stroll the historic downtown to experience holiday sights, sounds, flavors and activities. Downtown is beautifully decorated for the holidays. Over 50 downtown shops entered a window decorating contest. See below for the winners.  The exteriors of many homes in the historic residential district are decorated and Historic Wilmington Foundation led walking tours through the neighborhoods at night when the lights are most beautiful. Downtown merchants  provided refreshments and holiday gift ideas in an “open house” setting. Musicians, choral groups, and other entertainers were placed throughout downtown both Friday and Saturday. Santa Claus made appearances at various times and locations as well.  Thank you to all who got their HOLLY JOLLY ON!

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Window Decorating Contest

Windows throughout the historic downtown area will light up again this 2016 season.  From the grand homes in the Residents of Old Wilmington District to the shops and restaurants in the festive Business District.  You’ll even see boats and the Riverwalk decked out festively along the bustling River District. groovejet-window-inside

The Downtown Business contest is organized by the Downtown Business Alliance (DBA) and includes a People’s Choice award that is part of the Historic Wilmington Holly Jolly Holiday Stroll.

The purpose of the annual Holiday Decorating Contest is to create a festive atmosphere to capture the imagination of area shoppers and visitors.  Business owners can enter storefront windows, atriums and entire buildings in the competition. Entries range from Downtown’s historic core spanning from the Cotton Exchange to Chandler’s Wharf to Castle Street and to the Brooklyn Arts District’s North 4th Street.

The winner of the juried contest will be announced on Friday, December 9th, at 4:30pm during the ribbon cutting ceremony for the Holly Jolly Holiday Stroll.  The free kick-off event will be in First Bank’s water garden at 201 Market Street and include Mayor Bill Saffo and other community leaders.  The winners of the People’s Choice award will be announced on social media on December 15th.

“The creativity and originality of the merchants participating in the window decoration contest is always inspiring,” said Amy Grant, event coordinator and owner of Art in Bloom Gallery.  “The contest brings people together in the spirit of the holidays and is a great family activity that everyone can enjoy,” she added.

2016 Participants  Vote People’s Choice


Season of Celebration Events

2016 Holly Jolly Holiday Stroll Schedule

Find The List of Downtown Holiday Events Here



Holly Jolly Wilmington Holiday Guide

HolidayGuide(2016)The annual Holly Jolly Wilmington shopping guide features gift ideas along with special offers from our downtown shops.
Download Holly Jolly Wilmington Holiday Guide

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