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December 9, 2011

Colonial Williamsburg Announces Winners for 2011 Historic Area Residence Decoration Contests

Williamsburg has announced winners in its annual Historic Area Residence Decoration Contest.

Winners in the amateur category

Peter Hay Shop

Peter Hay ShopThe residents in this historic home adorned the door with a basket and horse collar filled with apples, balsam, boxwood, candy sugar sticks, carrots, corn, cotton, lady apples, oats, pineapple and/or wheat.

Peter Hay Shop WindowThe bay window features 18th-century horse equipment. Red and green apples decorate the sign and sit in stirrups. A balsam wreath with a fox hunting horn hangs on the window.

Scrivener Store

Scrivener Store doorApples, pineapple, cornhusks, magnolia leaves and pods, boxwood, pine and cloves comprise the wreath and decoration in the transom.

Colonial men and women in cotton and felt also adorn the decorations.

Greenhow Tenement Kitchen

Greenhow Temnement Kitchen DoorGingerbread and Shrewsbury cakes, leather, rosemary, bay, bayberry, mint, and holly are used to create the fox-and-hound theme on this historic residence.

Greenhow Temnement Kitchen

George Reid House

George Reid HouseBalsam wreath is highlighted with holly berries, dried artichoke, dried cockscomb, yarrow, rosemary, lotus pods and dried pomegranates. Pine roping wraps around the doorway.

Wreath on Reid House door

Winners in the professional category

James Moir House

Moir House WreathThe balsam wreath is adorned with yarrow, oyster shells, brick bat pieces, wood shavings, okra pods, red chili peppers, turkey feathers, millet, lotus pods and wheat.

Moir House

Tayloe Kitchen

Tayloe KitchenTwo bunches of tobacco, dried flowers, bay, artichoke, lavender and pipes create these award-winning decorations.


Judges considered the type of material; creativity and elements of the design; originality and faithfulness to the spirit of 18th-century decorative ideas; and written information provided by residents. Winners were announced and a blue ribbon was attached to each winner's residence the following day.

Professional decorations were judged separately from those by amateurs and separate ribbons were awarded for amateur and professional decorations. Six prizes of $200 each were awarded to the winners and a blue ribbon was attached to each winner's residence.

Doorway decorations will be judged a second time on Dec. 19. A panel of two judges from Colonial Williamsburg landscape staff will review all residences maintained or replaced by the tenants or are predominately inorganic. Judges will focus primarily on the condition of the decorations and adherence to the resident's original decorative ideas. Four prizes of $100 each will be awarded to the winners and a purple ribbon will be attached to each winner's residence the following day.

Residents in Colonial Williamsburg's Historic Area decorate their homes as part of the holiday season. They are asked to have their residences decorated by the day before Grand Illumination to treat guests to a Colonial Williamsburg Christmas. Foundation staff provides materials and decorating ideas to Historic Area residents during this time.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in the Historic Area and through the award-winning Revolutionary City program. Explore The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and discover the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum featuring the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670 – 1830 and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum home to the nation's premier collection of American folk art, comprising more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on-site and online. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia's Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour's drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg's website at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121