Official Contest Rules

The goal of Light Up Downtown is to have all major buildings lit up to create an illuminated view of the downtown skyline throughout the holiday season, as well as to have smaller buildings decorate their facades at the street level. This is an opportunity to showcase the downtown area to our locals and visitors and to create a new holiday experience throughout downtown.

Participants will receive official recognition from the City and its partners for participating in the contest and can win prizes in several categories from “Best Use of Space,” to “People’s Choice Award.”

Contest is open to all street level properties within the Central Business District. Contest winners will only be determined based upon their EXTERIOR displays. The use of LED lights is encouraged, but not required for participation.

• Contest is open to all downtown businesses.

• Participants will showcase the EXTERIORS of their buildings with creative holiday lighting displays and compete to win honors and recognition at the Celebrate San Antonio New Year’s Eve Event.

People’s Choice Awards:
• Best Use of Space
• Building
• Pop-up Store
• Storefront

The Mayor’s Awards:
• Best Lighting Display of a Building
• Best Lighting Display of a Storefront
• Mayor Ivy Taylor’s Choice Award for Best Overall Display
• CPS Energy Award for the Greenest Lighting Display

• Participants are dived into four categories, Best Use of Space, Storefronts, Pop Up Shops and Buildings.

• The use of LED lights is encouraged, but not required for participation. Extra points will be given for “green” energy-conscious displays.

• Light Up Downtown contest will begin on Friday, November 27, 2015 and ends December 21, 2015.

• Displays should be turned on daily no earlier than 5:30 pm and turned off no later than 12:30 am.

• The general public can vote for their favorite lighting displays online at www.LightUpDowntownSA.com

• Participating businesses will also display a decal with a Quick Response (QR) Code linking the public directly to the website to vote from a smartphone. QR decals will be distributed the week of November 23, 2015.

• Displays will be lit through early January.

• Contest Voting ends December 21st

• Winners will be notified on December 21st (Mayor’s Office)

• Winners will be publicly announced on New Year’s Eve

• Press release announcing winners will be sent to media January 4, 2016

Awards will be presented to winners at the City Council Ceremonial in January, 2016

Contest winners will be chosen for the following awards:

  • People’s Choice Awards:

    • Best Use of Space
    • Building
    • Pop-up Store
    • Storefront
  • The Mayor’s Awards:

    • Best Lighting Display of a Building
    • Best Lighting Display of a Storefront
    • Mayor Ivy Taylor’s Choice Award for Best Overall Display
    • CPS Energy Award for the Greenest Lighting Display
Light up downtown application

For Riverside properties that abutting the river, all lighting displays must conform to City Code Sec. 35-673 – Site Design Standards
***(5) Prohibited Lighting on the Riverside of Properties Abutting the river.A. Flashing lights.B. Rotating lights.C. Chaser lightsD. Exposed neon.E. Seasonal decorating lights such as festoon, string or rope lights, except between November 2015 and January 10, 2016. Flood Lamps.