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 it’s 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.
• Participants will receive official recognition from the City and it’s partners for participating in the contest and can
compete in a variety of categories, including "Best Use of Space," "Best Window Display by a Non-Profit Organization," "The CPS Award for the Greenest Display (Most use of LED lights)," "People’s Choice Award (Best Lighting Display of a Storefront)," and "People’s Choice Award (Best Lighting Display of a Building)."
• Participants are divided into main categories - storefronts, buildings, best use of space and
• The use of LED lights is encouraged, but not required for participation. Extra points will be given for “green”
• Light Up Downtown contest will begin on Friday, Nov. 23, 2012.
• Displays must be turned on daily no earlier than 5:30 pm and turned off no later than 12:30 am.
• Participants will be evaluated by members of the general public and the winners will be selected based on the
creativity and originality of the display. People can vote for their favorite lighting displays online at
• Participating businesses will also display a decal with a Quick Response (QR) Code linking you directly to the
website to vote from your smartphone.
• Displays will be lit through early January.
• Contest Voting ends December 19
• Winners will be notified on December 21 (Mayor’s Office)
• Winners will be publicly announced on New Year’s Eve
• Press release announcing winners will be sent to media January 2
• Awards will be presented to winners at Council Ceremonial Items on January 9
Contest winners will be chosen for the following awards:
- Best Use of Space
- Best Window Display by a Non-Profit Organization
- The CPS Award for the Greenest Display (Most use of LED lights)
- People’s Choice Award (Best Lighting Display of a Storefront)
People’s Choice Award (Best Lighting Display of a Building)
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 20th, and January 10thF. Flood Lamps.Back