Pilsen preps for the holidays with its second annual Christmas Window Walk

By Irvin Ibarra, Staff Reporter

Along 18th Street in Pilsen, storefronts are gearing up for the holidays with elaborate Christmas decorations with the goal of supporting both local artists and small businesses in the neighborhood.

The second annual Pilsen Christmas Window Walk, organized by the Economic Strategies Development Corporation, includes more than 30 artists and small businesses participating this year and aims to spark economic development locally.

“It’s very exciting,” said Lorena Almanza, co-owner of Mestiza, a small gift shop in Pilsen participating in this year’s Window Walk. “It’s bringing the community together … it’s just a beautiful thing.”

Many of these storefront displays are hand-crafted by the artists who collaborated with the businesses. At Nevería El Sabor de México, an ice cream shop in Pilsen, artist Tatiana Garcia used papier-mâché to make a giant ice cream cone surrounded by candy canes and snow people.

Juana Arreguín, owner of Nevería El Sabor de México, expressed her appreciation for the Window Walk since sales have been down at the store.

“Artists are a big part of Pilsen,” said Maggie Reynoso, manager for Pilsen Vintage, a local thrift store participating in the event and the first-place winner of last year’s Window Walk. “This is a good way that people could feel good, shopping here and helping the community and seeing how much the community is helping each other.”

Julio Velazquez, owner of Escaramuza USA, a Mexican gift shop in Pilsen, said there should be more Window Walk participants included to stimulate the neighborhood economy, including community centers, service buildings and local galleries and museums.

The Pilsen Christmas Window Walk runs until Jan. 6. Walk supporters can vote for their favorite storefront display until Dec. 20 by visiting the ESDC website. This year, the cash prizes for the first, second and third place winners are $1,000, $500 and $250, respectively. The winners will be announced Dec. 21.