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      Downtown Quincy kicks up Christmas spirit with window contest

      If you've been to downtown Quincy recently, you may have noticed it's stepped up its holiday spirit.

      This is the first year the Historic Quincy Business District is holding a downtown Christmas window decorating contest.

      "We wanted to get people more excited about Quincy, get downtown looking a little more festive," Travis Brown, executive director of the Historic Quincy Business District, said. "We've got a nice little prize package for businesses that are competing in this window decorating contest just as a way to brighten downtown during this holiday season."

      In order to claim that package, the winning business must have the most public votes and use this year's theme, "A German Christmas" the best.

      "The nutcracker was started in the 14th century in England and Germany," Mike Smith from Consignors Depot, said. "Since this contest is in the German theme we though the nutcracker would be really good to put in as a German type."

      "We used the paper snowflakes that are lighted, they're hand-crafted and that of course is German," Barb McClain, from District Designs, said. "They do the wood and paper ornaments. We used the colors of the German flag for the Advent candles, which is also very German."

      Kicking up downtown Quincy's Christmas spirit is important but the real idea behind the contest is to bring business in.

      "That's what this is all about," Brown said. "Getting them [customers] in stores, maybe they've never seen before and experiencing downtown and hopefully spending some of their shopping dollars here in the district."

      Some participating businesses have definitely seen increased customer traffic.

      "They [customers] definitely notice the windows," McClain said. "They drive down Maine Street, they drive around the square, they drive down Hampshire, they go to local restaurants and they see those windows and it makes a big difference. This was probably the best Christmas season that most of the merchants downtown have had."

      You can make it even better by helping your favorite window decorations win.

      To cast your vote, click here. Voting ends Wednesday.