Eastern Market Main Street’s Holly Days takes place November 1 through January 6. All Main Street businesses are invited to participate in a holiday decorating contest starting November 19 by decorating their storefronts with holiday lights—attracting residents and visitors from across the District to explore, shop, and play this holiday season.
- Judges and public participants will vote for their favorite holiday light displays in 8 categories.
- Participating businesses will receive an abundance of free promotion
- EMMS will also be part of a citywide Holiday Lights Scavenger Hunt, which will drive residents and visitors to the corridor starting November 26.
- The citywide Holiday Lights Award Ceremony will announce winners and feature participating businesses for a night of celebration
All participating businesses are eligible for the holiday lights contest and will be listed on the website and included in online promotions.
Registration is free.
The public will determine the People’s Choice Award by voting for their favorite by December 10. A panel of independent judges will select winners for the remaining award categories.
- Most Eastern Market (capture the spirit of what makes Eastern Market unique)
- Most Creative Use of Lights
- Most Colorful Display
- Best Window Display
- Best Use of Merchandise (feature your amazing products)
- Overall Best of Show (judges’ choice)
- People’s Choice Awards (based on public voting)
- Best Corporate Display
Categories 1-7 are open only to locally-owned businesses. Corporate chains are eligible for category #8, Best Corporate Display.
What Do The Winners Receive?
All awards will be announced at the DC Holiday Lights Award Ceremony. Each winner will be extensively promoted in the media, on local listservs, and through paid advertisements on Facebook with messaging to encourage residents and visitors to visit the winning businesses to see their displays. All winners will receive a certificate.
- Free Advertising: Your business will receive free advertising for participating in the holiday decorating contest, as part of the citywide DC Holiday Lights! You will be included in press materials sent to print, online and broadcast media outlets across the District. The event website will list your business with your address and any holiday promotional activities offered during the month of November and December. Participating businesses will be featured in EMMS’ online community newsletter, blog, and social media.
- Attract New Customers: One-third of consumers have chosen not to enter a business because it “didn’t look like a place I would normally shop.” You need to use creative methods of increasing foot traffic and attracting potential customers so that they see your business is a place for them! Participating in EMMS Holiday Lights puts you on the contest ballot for residents across the District who will come to the neighborhood and check out your display. Consumers are also more likely to frequent your business if they know who you are and trust you. Being seen as active in the community builds that trust.
- Increase Customer Loyalty & Sales: Research shows that shoppers prefer to patronize businesses that are involved in their communities. BONUS: When businesses are involved with the community, customers are willing to pay slightly higher prices to buy from them. As a retailer with strong community ties, you can increase your prices and profits without driving customers away.
Register Your Business For The Holiday Decorating Contest
Once you’ve registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email. Thanks for being a part of this fun community event and giving Eastern Market Main Street the opportunity to promote your awesome business!