[UPDATE Thursday, Dec. 6, 5:30 p.m.]
Do you go all out at your home or business to get in the holiday spirit? If you have the best display in Boston in one of several categories, you could be one of this year's winners of the Boston Deck the City contests.
There are two contests, one for businesses and one for residents.
New this year to the contest is the "Deck the Rooftops" contest for residents. Winners in multiple categories will be awarded, including one- or two-family homes, triple deckers, a porch or balcony or a multi-family or apartment building. And if a bunch of neighbors pull together, there's also a prize for best street.
Judges will evaluate the overall design and appeal of residents’ lighting displays, and participants are encouraged to use LED lights whenever possible.
The deadline to enter this contest midnight on Sunday, Dec. 16.While you're decorating, take a few photos and submit them to Patch's "Deck the House" contest. Twenty-four regional finalists will win $500 off their utility bills, and the grand prize winner will have $100,000 donated to his or her local school district. Enter online by Dec. 16! And check back throughout the month of December to vote for your favorites.
The business competition is called the "Deck the Windows" competition. In its third year, the contest asks businesses to create a one-of-a-kind holiday window display. You can see last year’s finalists here.
Judges will look for the best in three categories: best representation of local style and history, most inviting for customers, and most festive. Any businesses interested in participating should contact their Boston Main Streets district office to register.
The deadline to decorate windows for the business contest was Nov. 28. Starting next week, a panel of local judges chosen by each participating Main Street district will select the best window display and submit that contestant for posting to the city’s website.
“This year, we’re doing everything we can to promote all our neighborhood business districts have to offer during the holiday season,” Mayor Menino said. “Rather than leaving family and friends for midnight lines and mall traffic, we’re encouraging shoppers to explore all the unique gifts and holiday experiences available right in their own neighborhoods.”
Beginning on Tuesday, Dec. 11, Mayor Menino will ask the public to vote for their favorite festive storefront windows and homes. The winners selected through the voting process will be honored on Thursday, Dec. 20 at a celebration hosted by Mayor Menino at the winning business. More details about the contests can be found here.