Downtown shops show hints of Christmas

Chad Frey
Christmas decor is displayed in downtown Newton.

From lights to tree ornaments, the hints of Christmas are downtown this week.

The Newton Area Chamber of Commerce launched “Deck Downtown” on Dec. 15, a contest for businesses to decorate downtown for the Christmas season.

“It started with an idea, the goal is to brighten up downtown for the holiday season, to make it more of a destination,” Rachael Gibbons said.

Business signed up to participate — 12 in year one of the event.

“We hope to make this annual event,” Gibbons said.

Del Puente Cafe, Et Cetera Shop, Hearing Life, Anderson Book and Supply, Prairy, STAND (using an empty window downtown). Fuqua Insurance, Farm Bureau, Vogt’s Construction, Newton Furniture and Cabinet Company, Conrade Insurance Group and Bella Veil Bridal Boutique will compete for the crown of best decorated business — with the winners determined by public vote.

People can vote on Facebook at an event page created by the Chamber, or call the chamber at 316-283-2560, through Dec. 17. Winners will be announced during a Chamber Breakfast on Dec. 18 on Zoom.

“We know there are a lot more people who decorated who are not part of the contest,” Gibbons said. “They are part of beautifying our downtown.”

For more Hints of Christmas photos by Michele Clark, visit

A snowy day last week was a chance for Christmas decor to shine in downtown Newton.