Creating a holiday destination with foam-core decor


In an effort to support local businesses by attracting people to its downtown area, the Watertown Development Company (WDC) of Watertown, S.D., sought out other community members and businesses to join together to create a winter wonderland. Working to transform the city center into “A Merry & Bright Christmas,” the WDC looked to Benchmark Foam to create life-size Christmas decorations, including candy canes, ornaments and Santa’s sleigh. The sleigh was designed to seat those looking for a holiday photo op or a magical moment for a child as Santa Claus hosted socially-distanced meet and greets at the locale.

“Christmas is a wonderful season that brings together family and friends,” said WDC Executive Director Chris Schilken. “Thanks to continued support for downtown by our investors and sponsors, it is now possible for us to make Downtown Watertown a Christmas destination.”

The decorations, ranging in sizes from the 4’ x 10’ sleigh to the 8’ tall candy canes, are all made of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam and encapsulated with a polyurea coating that gives it durability to withstand the elements, including human contact. Each piece was painted according to customer specification, proudly fitting into its holiday theme. The finished pieces line the streets of the downtown area, spreading joy along the various business storefronts.

With the COVID pandemic affecting local businesses, the WDC was hoping to draw attention of area shoppers and prospective business owners that its community supports their success.

“The pandemic has really taken a toll on our businesses and therefore Watertown’s retail sales numbers have suffered, so the WDC is trying to create a buzz-worthy experience for our downtown businesses. The WDC is committed to making sure our businesses survive and conquer and to show prospective retailers we are committed to the continued growth of Watertown,” said WDC Director of Marketing Traci Stein.

The foam-core Christmas decorations spent several weeks in downtown Watertown and the WDC has plans to expand next year. Whether short term or permanent fixtures, Benchmark Foam can create structures or other display items that support an event, brand or theme. Call our team at 800-658-3444 or 605-886-8084 to discuss the endless possibilities.

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