For Immediate Release
November 27, 2013
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Mayor Thomas M. Menino kicked off Boston’s holiday season with a series of initiatives to enhance the city’s holiday spirit. This year’s offerings include the Holidays on Main Streets campaign, supporting small businesses, a new Main Streets shopping program entitled Wrap Up Your Holidays on Main Streets, two city-wide decorating contests, and free holiday parking hours in commercial districts.
“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.”
The Holidays on Main Streets small business initiative supports neighborhood businesses by highlighting the events taking place in and around the City’s 20 Main Streets districts through the end of December. The campaign kicked off on Tuesday, November 26 with a massive block party, in the Mission Hill Main Street District, as Mayor Menino joined the Boston Latin School Wolftones and Wolfettes, The Boston Children’s Theatre, Mission Hill Main Streets Board, representatives from area hospitals and universities, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and residents and business owners in Mission Hill Main Street District.
This year’s City holiday initiatives include:
Wrap Up Your Holidays on Main Streets
Wrap Up Your Holidays on Main Streets will encourage parents to complete their holiday shopping in the City’s Main Streets districts. Select Boston Centers for Youth & Families (BCYF) centers will have extended hours, during which children will be entertained while their parents shop. Children will participate in sports, games, holiday art and storytelling at the Centers, giving families the opportunity to support their neighborhood businesses, while allowing them the opportunity to become familiar with their local BCYF and its programming.
Deck the City Decorating Competitions
Holidays on Main Street will once again feature the Deck the Windows holiday storefront decorating competition, during which neighborhood businesses will compete city-wide for the title of best storefront holiday decorations. Main Streets businesses interested in participating should contact their district office to register.
Storefront windows will be decorated by Monday, December 2nd. That 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.
Beginning on Monday, December 9th, Mayor Menino will ask the public to vote for their favorite festive storefront windows. The winners selected through the voting process will be honored on Thursday, December 19th at a celebration hosted by Mayor Menino at the winning business.
Mayor Menino also announced Deck the Rooftops, a city-wide residential lighting contest. Participants must be City of Boston residents to participate in Deck the Rooftops, though home ownership is not required. Judges will evaluate the overall design and appeal of residents’ lighting displays, and participants are encouraged to use LED lights whenever possible. Competitive categories include: one-or two-family homes, triple deckers, porch/balcony, multi-family or apartment building.
More details about these contests can be found at www.cityofboston.gov/deckthecity.
Free Holiday Parking
As is tradition in Boston, shoppers will enjoy two free hours of metered parking throughout the city’s commercial districts, including downtown, starting on Friday, November 29, and continuing on five consecutive Saturdays through December 28. While meters will be free on these days, a two-hour time limit will be enforced by the Boston Transportation Department to accommodate as many visitors as possible in shopping districts.
Toys for Tickets
Any driver issued a non-public safety parking ticket on Boston’s streets Monday, December 2nd through Wednesday, December 4th will be offered the option of resolving their ticket by providing a non-violent, unwrapped toy of equal or greater value than the ticket fine.
Public safety violations that are excluded from this program are: HP Ramp, HP-DV Parking Only, Fire Hydrant, Crosswalk, Double Parking, Fire Lane Less than 20 Feet From An Intersection and No Stopping or Standing.
To participate in Toys for Tickets, drivers have from Thursday, December 5th through Friday, December 13thto turn in the toys. Last year’s Toys for Tickets campaign yielded more than $3,000 worth of toys. For information regarding toy drop-off locations, times and dates, visit www.cityofboston.gov/parking/toystickets.asp.
10th Annual Mayor’s Holiday Spectacular
The 10th Annual Mayor’s Holiday Spectacular website offers visitors special deals on tickets to holiday shows and shopping in Boston. Residents can learn about this year’s great holiday events, including a comprehensive list of neighborhood tree lightings, festive trolley tours and local holiday markets, plus special discounts for local dining options and shows such as The Nutcracker and Boston Holiday Pops. The site is a unique partnership between the Mayor’s Office of Arts, Tourism and Special Events, the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau and ArtsBoston that has enabled hundreds of thousands of families and friends to enjoy the unique holiday attractions that Boston has to offer at a great price. Visit http://www.mayorsholiday.com/ to find holiday events in your neighborhood.