Shelter Island door decorating contest is back

Shelter Island pharmacy door decorating

Shelter Island Pharmacy won the contest in 2015. (Credit: JoAnn Kirkland)

From tinsel and animatronic Santas, to full-on audio/visual displays replete with amplified disco carols and lights that blink to the beat, ringing in the season with the biggest, baddest holiday home display has become something of a competition around the nation in recent years.

Yes, tis the season … to impress the neighbors with your finest (and fanciest) decorating skills. But here on Shelter Island, there’s an entirely different take on the decorating craze.

This December, the Shelter Island Chamber of Commerce sponsors the third annual “Decorate your Door, Store or More” contest. In the coming weeks, Chamber members throughout the Island will be decorating the entryways of their businesses for the holidays.

While merchants’ doors are the primary focus, this competition is all about welcoming people over the threshold by adorning the exterior of businesses, be it doors, storefront windows or even trucks, if that’s how your customers know you best.

With the season now officially upon us, things should be lighting up all over the Island in a major way in the coming days, and residents and visitors alike are encouraged to get in on the act. So take a trip around the Island between December 1 and 18, check out the decorated business doors, then go on the Shelter Island Chamber of Commerce website,, and vote for your favorite in one of three categories: classic, original, and whimsical.

The last day for voting is December 18 and the top prize is one year of advertising on the Chamber’s website.

By the way, while checking out the storefronts, you can also take a walk! That’s the advice of the Chamber of Commerce which is hosting an Island-wide stroll (or drive) on Saturday, December 10. The event runs from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Chamber member businesses throughout Shelter Island. Individual trees across the Island will be decorated for the season by the students of Shelter Island School and the Chamber is distributing a booklet highlighting the merchants taking part in the day.

Who says the off-season on the East End is a time for laying low? Shelter Island’s in the spirit, and your invited to come join the fun.