SHOPKEEPERS have a vital role to play in turning town centres into a winter wonderland.

At the Guardian we are keen to celebrate this and are running our annual festive shop window competition in Northwich, in conjunction with Northwich Town Council, for the third year.

The contest was inspired by the Save Our Shops campaign in 2011 and organised to give independent traders a boost in the run up to Christmas.

Chief photographer Nick Jones has taken pictures of seasonal displays ready for readers’ votes.

But we are appealing for shoppers to tour round the shops themselves and see the detail in the windows that we cannot capture on camera.

Last year’s winner was knitting and craft shop Crafty Stitches, in Witton Street.

Louise Hough, from the shop, said: “It was a great achievement because it’s nice to be recognised by the public, it’s nice that people appreciate the window and shows we’re doing a good job.

“It’s very important for shops to do a window because it creates the whole festive spirit.

“If everyone makes the effort it makes the town look nice and the more likely people are to come into Northwich and spend in the shops.

“But the most important thing is that it’s got to be fun.

“Dressing a window brings in the season and welcomes it into your life.”

To see the windows and cast your vote click here or ring the Guardian on 01606 813624 and tell us your favourite.

Voting ends at 9am on Monday, December 16, and the winner will be announced in the Guardian on Wednesday, December 18.