Official Contest Rules

• 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 its partners for participating in the contest and can compete in a variety of categories, including Critic's Choice Greenest Lighting Display, People's Choice - Best Use of Space, Critic's & People's Choice - Storefront, Critic's & People's Choice - Building

• Participants are divided into main categories - best use of space, storefronts 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 28, 2014 and ends December 19, 2014

• 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 19th

• Winners will be notified on December 19th (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

Contest winners will be chosen for the following awards:

  • Critic's Choice Greenest Lighting Display
  • People's Choice - Best Use of Space
  • Critic's Choice - Storefront
  • People's Choice - Storefront
  • Critic's Choice - Building
  • People's Choice - Building

For Riverside properties 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 lights D. Exposed neon. E. Seasonal decorating lights such as festoon, string or rope lights, except between November 20th, and January 10th F. Flood Lamps.