ROCK FALLS – One of the organizers of a Twin Cities art initiative stopped by to visit me Thursday afternoon during my Rock Falls “office hour.”
Catherine Rogers wanted to share the success of some recent downtown window displays made to coincide with Sterling’s Sights and Sounds festivities.
She and friend Penny Schopp started Bridge of Art to beautify downtown Sterling and Rock Falls window displays, and soon after our Sept. 25 article on the project, Rogers began getting calls from artists who wanted to help create displays.
Many have since contributed to holiday window displays.
I saw one of them in a gorgeous winter wonderland photo Rogers showed me. It had snow made of fluffy marshmallows hanging in strings, a Christmas tree made of a megaphone turned upside down and decorated and a dress decorated with coffee filters.
Another window featured a beautiful Santa Claus and snowflakes local kindergartners made from Popsicle sticks.
Rogers said at least 1,800 people contributed in some way to the effort. Some gave monetary donations, others let artists use their windows for displays. Kids helped by washing windows and wrapping downtown benches with yarn.
Organizers have created a scavenger hurt to get even more people involved. Participants can pick up a form with clues at downtown businesses, which must be filled out and returned by Friday to Sterling Main Street, 318 First Ave. or the Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce office, 211 Locust St.
A winner will be drawn from the correct forms and awarded a $50 cash prize.
Main Street Director Susan Boyd said it was “wonderful” to see downtown storefronts lit up.
“We have a lot of empty ones too that have not been decorated,” she said. “It added to Sights and Sounds and the whole spirit of Christmas and I just love it. The unity of having snowflakes in windows that couldn’t be decorated ... I just love it.”
Rogers said she’s very pleased with the effort so far. A lot of people also said they would help in the future.
“People are very enthusiastic,” she said.
Sauk Valley Media reporter Kiran Sood covers government and happenings in Sterling and Rock Falls. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 800-798-4085, ext. 529.