Like many other winter traditions, the Town of Vienna’s annual holiday decorating contest is going to look a little different this year.
Ordinarily, the competition involves local businesses vying to have the most impressive holiday-themed window display, but this year, the town has decided to let residents participate as well.
“I think it’s neat that we’re also doing it for our residents this year,” Vienna Mayor Linda Colbert said. “I think this is a time when everybody needs just some fun things to do that are low-risk activities.”
This will be the fourth iteration of the decorating contest since the Vienna Town Business Liaison Committee started organizing them in 2017 as a means of drawing attention to local businesses and encouraging people to do their holiday shopping in the town.
Both businesses and residents must be located within the Town of Vienna’s limits to be eligible for the contest, and decorations have to be visible from the street or sidewalk, though they “may be as simple or elaborate as desired,” according to a town press release.
The contest will kick off on Dec. 1 with a deadline of midnight on Dec. 16 for residents to vote in the “People’s Choice” awards for their favorite displays.
Businesses will receive first, second, and third-place awards, while the awards for residential applicants will be given in separate categories for single-family homes, townhomes, condos, and apartment patios.
Interested residents and businesses can register at viennava.gov/holiday. Participants must finish their decorations and submit photos of their displays to Vienna special events coordinator Lily Widman at [email protected] by Dec. 7.
The Town of Vienna will announce the award winners on social media on Dec. 17.
Like former Mayor Laurie DiRocco did in previous years, Colbert will spend an hour helping the winning business as a guest employee during the holiday season. She will also present gift card prizes from local businesses to the residential winners.
To ensure people get a chance to see all the competing displays, the Town of Vienna will release a “porch parade” route on its website and through social media on Dec. 8 that features all of the participating businesses and residences.
Colbert says the holiday decorating contest has been well-received in the past by businesses that appreciate the support and by residents who enjoy the festive atmosphere that it creates.
“It just really brightens our town, makes it cheerier,” Colbert said. “The businesses go to a lot of effort, and I think it will help them also this holiday season.”
Photo courtesy Town of Vienna