NEWS on LIFE, WORK, & PLAY in Mississippi's College Town

Designing a Spooky Shop Window | Halloween in Downtown Starkville

Cooler temperatures are slowly creeping in to Starkville this weekend, and it’s beginning to look a lot like autumn Downtown. Tonight, we are hosting the annual Pumpkinpalooza harvest-fest on Main Street, and our merchants are getting ready with Halloween candy for trick-or-treaters and spooked out window decorations. It takes a lot to turn a mild, maroon-friendly store window into a mini-haunted display, and we wanted to get the scoop on how one shop owner makes it happen…


Ethereal white dresses hovering like ghosts, spooky family portraits, black ravens escaping from their wire cages, orange glowing lights and spider webbing provide the accessories for fall’s favorite items at R. Tabb and Company on Main Street. Rebecca Tabb is the owner of this favorite Starkville boutique, and she’s a seasoned and active part of the Starkville Main Street Association. We talked to Rebecca this week while she was creating the store’s Halloween transformation to get her thoughts on display ideas, events downtown and the impact of a vibrant Main Street Community.

Creative window displays are such a fun part of shopping Downtown. How do you get your ideas for window themes?

A lot of my creative ideas come from staying up to date on trends through sites like Pinterest and Facebook or through magazines. My business has now been open for 10 years between my first store opening in Eupora and having this store that its hard to come up with something new and fresh each year. It’s so fun to get inspiration from Pinterest, see what others are doing, and then take what fixtures you might already have and add make it your own!

How long did it take you to create your Pumpkinpalooza display?

It took our team about three hours to get all of our props together, painted and installed. I had great help this year from a dear friend, Kimberly Linley, her husband Patrick and son Hunter. Kimberly had great ideas and I had a lot of decorations… then we just added the finishing touches.


What’s it like having Starkville’s harvest fest right outside your door?

The night of Pumpkinpalooza feels like a huge “sugar rush” downtown. It’s completely overwhelming, but one of the best family friendly events Starkville has to offer. There are so many people from babies in strollers, collage students to retirees. The excitement is in the air and the feeling of community is on everyones faces. There is fun for everyone, and it’s great seeing so many from the community coming by the store.

I really love the feeling of being on Main Street – the heart of Starkville during a downtown event – from the crowded sidewalks of children dressed up for Halloween trick-or-treating, out of town shoppers, pumpkin patch and other vendors selling produce and all their yummy baked goods, the MSU pep rally, halloween music, pumpkin and face painting, jumpers, live models in everyone’s windows…… the feeling is just something no other place can compare to!

What impact do you think Downtown events have for Main Street merchants?

The impact Main Street events has on my business… HUGE! When an event drops 7,000 people at the doorstep of your business, you better be open, ready to smile, hand out candy and let them shop away! We always have such a wonderful night of sales when we are open for these special events. People love to have a reason to shop. This event, hosted on a home football weekend, brings not only the locals that might not always have a reason to come to Main Street, but also all of the out of town fans that come for the game. We give them a fun family event to fill up their Friday night!

Tell us some fall game weekend fashion trends.

Around here, maroon is always a must for fall! But, you can play with your maroon fashion with great details like fringe, fur, leather and suede!!! All of these look great with your maroon outfit for a fall game weekend.


Thanks to Rebecca for showing us the anatomy of a spooky store window! If you want to get the full affect, you’ll have to visit R.Tabb & Co during Pumpkinpalooza tonight after sundown when the orange twinkle lights and creepy scenes are in full spook. The MSU Fashion Board will provide live models in full “bride of Frankenstein” make-up and styling for each participating store window. Don’t miss the sights and all the harvest family fun… 6:00 – 8:00pm on Main Street.