Mayor Menino Kicks Off Holidays on Main Streets
Announces City Plans for Holiday Season, Including New Decorating Contest and Free Holiday Parking
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For Immediate Release
November 20, 2012
Released By:
Neighborhood Development
For More Information Contact:
Kerry O'Brien

Mayor Thomas M. Menino today announced several holiday initiatives now underway throughout the City of Boston, including the annual Holidays on Main Streets campaign, a new city-wide decorating contest, and free holiday parking hours at all City parking meters.

“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.”

A small business initiative designed to highlight the many events taking place in and around the City’s 20 Main Streets districts through the end of December, the Holidays on Main Streets campaign will kick-off at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, November 20, at Washington Gateway in the South End. Mayor Menino’s daughter Susan Menino Fenton will join Jonathan Soroff of the Improper Bostonian, the U.S. Navy Band, the Boston Latin School Wolfettes, and residents and business owners in the Washington Gateway Main Street District.

Deck the City Decorating Competitions

Mayor Menino also announced Deck the Rooftops, a new city-wide residential lighting contest, in addition to the third annual Deck the Windows competition for Main Streets Business Districts. 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.

Holidays on Main Street will once again feature the Deck the Windows holiday storefront decorating competition that will test businesses’ creativity in three categories: best representation of local style and history, most inviting for customers, and most festive. Those Main Streets businesses interested in participating should contact their district office to register.

Windows must be decorated by Wednesday, November 28. The following 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 Tuesday, December 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 honoured on Thursday, December 20 at a celebration hosted by Mayor Menino at the winning business. More details about the contests can be found at

Free Holiday Parking

As is tradition in Boston, shoppers will enjoy two free hours of metered parking at all City parking meters starting on Friday, November 23, and continuing on six consecutive Saturdays through December 29. 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 November 29 through December 1 will be offered the option of resolving their ticket by providing a 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/Standing). To participate in Toys for Tickets, drivers have from Thursday, November 29 through Friday, December 8to 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

Boston Meter Card Holiday Discount

The second annual Boston Meter Card holiday sale is running through December 31 with a 20% discount for all purchases. The cards are available online at, and are also sold at the Office of the Parking Clerk, Room 224, City Hall, and the BTD Tow Lot at 200 Frontage Road. Cards can also be purchased at the BTD Mobile Command Center from 10 AM to 2 PM on these select days during the holiday season: Friday, November 23, City Hall Plaza; Saturday, November 24, City Hall Plaza; Saturday, December 1, intersection of Washington and Milk Streets, Downtown Crossing; Saturday, December 8, Samuel Adams Statue on Faneuil Hall Plaza; Saturday, December 15, 587 Boylston Street in front of CVS, between Dartmouth and Clarendon; Saturday, December 22, Samuel Adams Statue on Faneuil Hall Plaza.

Retail Trucks Hit City Hall Plaza

Retail trucks will be on site at City Hall Plaza Wednesday through Friday, starting on Friday, November 23 to Friday, December 14from 11a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and for the full five weekdays leading up to Christmas, Monday, December 17through Friday, December 21 from 11a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Participating trucks include: The Boston Sports Apparel Company, The Brkfst Club, The Fashion Truck, Lola’s Urban Vintage, Sterlingwear of Boston, and Green Street Vault. These vendors have clothing and gifts for sports fans, art enthusiasts, sneaker buffs, and fashion lovers alike.

The trucks are an extension of what’s been a successful retail truck pilot on City Hall Plaza throughout the fall during the Farmer’s Market and during Boston’s 2012 Fashion Week.

Mayor’s Holiday Special

The 9th annual Mayor’s Holiday Special 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 to find holiday events in your neighborhood.

Image & Video Gallery

Boston Main Streets District Executive Directors Alana Olsen, Kara O’Connor, and Richard Rouse join DND Director Sheila Dillon to celebrate at the Holidays on Main Streets kick-off.


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