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Santa in a camouflage suit and the kickoff for a new Window Wonderland contest will be among the highlights of the downtown Fredericksburg holiday open house next weekend.
Last year's was the first Window Wonderland event.
FILE/THE FREE LANCE-STAR
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Bobby Hebert, an advertising consultant for The Free Lance-Star, mined a number of Internet databases for the top 100 holiday movies of all time to come up with this year's riddles. Some of the movies are as old as 1931, others as new as 2011.
Last year's riddle contest, which was about new and vintage toys, "had a multi-generational appeal," Hedelt said, because grandparents were able to identify the older toys while children knew the names of the newer ones.
It "created multiple return visits for the participants," she said. "I think the movie theme may be a bit more challenging, but the rhymes are clever and it will become even more important to make it group activity."
A different riddle will be posted in each of the participating businesses' storefront windows, and people who guess all the movie titles can use forms available at the Fredericksburg Visitor Center or visitfred.com for a chance to win more than $4,000 in prizes.
Top prize is $1,000, and there will be $500, $300 and $100 prizes for the runners-up. All the money was donated by the Economic Development Authority. There also will be a number of gift certificates donated by local merchants, and cash prizes will be awarded to the businesses with the favorite windows.
Whittingham's, whose windows on Caroline Street are popular with shoppers, is ineligible because it won the favorite window contest last year.
Window Wonderland contest forms are available at the Fredericksburg Visitor Center, 706 Caroline St.; The Free Lance-Star, 616 Amelia St.; or online at visitfred .com.
Entry forms can be submitted in person to the Visitor Center or The Free Lance-Star, or mailed to Fredericksburg Visitor Center, 706 Caroline St., Fredericksburg, VA 22401 by 5 p.m. Dec. 31.
Cathy Jett: 540/374-5407