Sweeney Todd-inspired window at The Barber Shop & Victorian Salon, 1233 State St.

Sweeney Todd-inspired window at The Barber Shop & Victorian Salon, 1233 State St. (Courtesy photo)

On a not-so-chilly October evening, members of Downtown Santa Barbara’s décor committee judged 24 businesses participating in the annual Halloween Window Décor Contest and awarded 1st place (Most Creative) to Santa Barbara Public Library, 40 E. Anapamu St.

2nd Place, Most Theme-Oriented, went to The Palace Grill, 8 E. Cota St. This window’s hand-painted voodoo theme, adorned with ghouls and skeletons, didn’t seem to faze diners inside the Cajun eatery.
3rd Place, Scariest Award, was won by The Barber Shop & Victorian Salon, 1233 State, for its most Sweeney Todd-inspired use of barber instruments, in a not-good-but-scary way.
Runner-Up, Best Neighboooo’hood Collaboration Award, went to Lovebird Boutique & Jewelry Bar, 535 State St. In celebration of Halloween, Lovebird replaced its mannequins with skeletons.

“This idea appeals to us because we want to support business downtown,” said Jennifer Scarbrough, owner of Lovebird. “We can help revitalize State Street while having a good time.”

For the library’s winning entry, staff created a thrilling live-action tableau with Dr. Frankenstein herself on hand to piece together Frankenstein’s monster, wielding a bloody heart. The display also works as a promotion of the current Santa Barbara Reads book Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

Along with a monetary award for the first three places, each winning location received two tickets to an upcoming performance at The New Vic, courtesy of Ensemble Theatre Company.

Many businesses decorated in anticipation of Downtown Halloween Trick-or-Treat, 3-6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 31, welcoming hundreds of costumed children with treats, stickers, coupons or other goodies.

Children must be in costumes, goodie bag in hand, to haunt more than 80 participating businesses, from Micheltorena to Gutierrez and along the side streets, that display a Trick-or-Treat HERE sign with a batch of Halloween-y balloons.

The Downtown Santa Barbara Window Display Contest and Downtown Halloween Trick-or-Treat are sponsored by Downtown Santa Barbara and are free to the community and participating businesses. For more information, call 962.2098 ext. 800 or visit www.DowntownSB.org.

— Kate Schwab for Downtown Santa Barbara.