It's all window dressing

Kim Hill is volunteering her expertise to help retailers embrace the autumnal theme in their shop windows, and put them in the running for cash prizes.

Kim Hill is volunteering her expertise to help retailers embrace the autumnal theme in their shop windows, and put them in the running for cash prizes.

It's already autumn, can you believe it, and the Autumn Festival organising committee is encouraging retail outlets to embrace the season and decorate their shop windows in theme.

Tenterfield's autumn colours are one of its biggest tourist attractions. While a stroll down Rouse Street might not quite match the thrill of the coloured Pin Oaks of Robert Brush Drive, it's hoped the combination of that autumn vibe with some retail therapy will entice visitors to part with their money, not only for the festival but throughout the coming months.

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Help is at hand with former window dresser and treechanger Kim Hill offering her services for free.

Mrs Hill was a visual merchandiser for 12 years with the likes of major retailer Grace Brothers who became Myers, before she moved into event management.

The published author has 'retired' to Tenterfield where her grandparents lived and her dad grew up, taking on the renovation of a 120-year-old house in her spare time but she is on board with sharing her expertise.

"I'm happy to help with things like this festival and other local events," she said, "for anyone that wants help and is stuck on what to do."

The committee is funding 10 autumn wreaths created by Magnolia Florist to act as a starting point for the first 10 businesses in.

For those who choose to go it alone, Mrs Hill's suggestions are to keep it simple, stick with the autumn colours and to keep the windows clean.

Autumn Festival committee members got busy on the weekend decorating the empty Celebrations Bottle Shop window, and have more empty shops in their sights.

Autumn Festival committee members got busy on the weekend decorating the empty Celebrations Bottle Shop window, and have more empty shops in their sights.

She feels that the art of window dressing went out of fashion but it's making a comeback. She urges local retailers to consider the attraction of window shopping, with fond memories of the family buying ice-creams and then strolling the retail section to see what was in the windows.

Along with the benefits to their own business, participants dressing up their windows now will be in the running for some generous cash prizes, thanks to sponsorship from Autumn Festival organisers, Tenterfield Community College and Primary Health Network. There's $1000 for first prize, $300 for second and $100 for third. Final judging takes place mid-autumn.

Although the overall theme is autumn colours, entries can promote any of the major events coming up in Tenterfield be it the Autumn Festival itself or Oracles of the Bush or the Tenterfield Show Society campdraft, Mrs Hill said.

"Whatever's close to their heart."

Mrs Hill hopes that enough shops will get involved to create a celebration of the season in the town's CBD.

To that end the owners of empty shops are urged to get in touch with committee members who are more than happy to take on the job of decorating the empty windows.

For more information email enquiry@tenterfieldautumnfestival.com.au or call Kim Rhodes on 0448 673 373.