Our Bury St Edmunds launches best dressed Christmas window competition digitally for the first time

Shoppers, visitors and residents in Bury St Edmunds are invited to help judge the town centre’s annual best dressed Christmas window competition, which is being run digitally for the first time. The winning business will be presented with the prestigious Our Bury St Edmunds shield to hold for a year and those voting through the LoyalFree app will be eligible for a prize draw to win one of three Our Bury St Edmunds Gift Cards that can be spent in around 50 different town centre businesses.

BID Chairman William Bryant (L) presenting the shield in 2019 to Jeremy Clayton owner of Javelin. (Picture credit Our Bury St Edmunds)

Participating windows are listed as a special trail on the app to make it easy for them all to be viewed. The app is free to download and voting in the competition is also free. Voting is open between Monday November 30 and Sunday December 13. The Our Bury St Edmunds Shield will be presented to the winner in the following week. The Business Improvement District (BID) took over the organisation of the long-standing and popular festive award 11 years ago and has seen the competition increasing year on year.

Mike Kirkham from Our Bury St Edmunds said: “In the past we have invited a different independent judge to choose a winner and every year without fail they have told us how difficult a task they have found it. Some have put in a huge amount of time, taking photographs, drawing up shortlists and making several trips into town to finally pick a winner. With a trail and digital competition on the app we hope those who vote, whether they know and love Bury St Edmunds or are visiting for the first time, will find it a lot easier.”

Some of the windows in contention for the award were recently featured in the Bury Merry Christmas video advertising the town centre that was made instead of a Christmas Lights Switch On event this year. The film was viewed 100,000 times in the space of 48 hours following its premiere by Our Bury St Edmunds last Friday.

Mr Kirkham, who is the BID’s Business Support and Marketing Officer, added: “The pandemic has presented many challenges for the town centre this year, not least the most recent lockdown. But the effort that has gone into festive window dressing by businesses despite everything, is absolutely fantastic. We hope that people who come to look and vote for their favourite window will do some of their Christmas shopping at the same time but for those in town before everywhere is fully open, the trail is a wonderful Christmassy walk to get into the festive mood.”

Further information is available by downloading the LoyalFree app or by visiting www.ourburystedmunds.com.