??In Riverhead, the Elf Liberation Front has won. At least in the battle of the store windows.
For the past few weeks, the East End Arts nonprofit has been holding a contest to brighten up the downtown area by having people decorate the windows of empty stores. There were 15 stores in the contest, and more than 100 people stopped by the arts council building to pick up ballots and vote for first, second and third-place windows.
The elves picked up 137 points in the weighted vote — and a $500 first prize donated by the Riverhead Town Board.
The winner was the cutout Occupy the North Pole display, with dozens of angry cutout elves, many with protest signs, assembled by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Elves, according to the application filed with the arts group. The display featured protest signs, police pepper-spraying some demonstrators, and Rudolph with a sign asking why Santa gets all the cookies every year.
Other protesting elves promised “Silent Night, Not Tonight.”
There also were many brightly decorated stores in Riverhead that were in business and that cast a cheery holiday glow, but that were not in the contest.
Riverhead Supervisor Sean Walter had a half-moment’s pause when the results of the contest were announced at Tuesday’s town board meeting.
“An occupy group ... we’ll have to look at that,” said Walter, the former chairman of the town Conservative Party, making his own little joke.
Above: Olivia Sulzer, 3, from Aquebogue, looks at one of the windows decorated for the Riverhead Holiday Window Decorating Contest. (Dec. 4, 2011)