Burbank’s Holiday Decorating Contest Looking for Entries

Past First Place Winner - 246 S. Sparks

Judges of the city’s outdoor holiday decorations competition are hoping to receive more entries than last year when the application deadline hits on Tuesday.

This year marks the 31st annual Holiday Decorating Contest conducted by the city’s Civic Pride Committee. Application deadline is 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Public Information Office in City Hall. Certificates will be presented to the winners at the Dec. 17 City Council meeting.

Past First Place Winner - 246 S. Sparks
Past First Place Winner – 246 S. Sparks

Last year there were only 24 entries total for all categories, said Robert Vincent, chairman.

“When I came on the committee 10 years ago we had 96,” he said.

Vincent expects more entries because, as he attends other civic functions, like the YMCA Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot, he said people are smiling and seem more relaxed. Last year people were in a more pensive state of mind, he said.

“People seem to be in a more festive mood this year, even though economic times haven’t changed much, and a lot more houses have lights going up,” he said.

There are three categories –Adult, Youth (under 16) and Commercial.

Committee members look for entries that not only have a lot of heart, but have skill, technique, animation, creativity and use of lights, Vincent said.

Youngsters who enter their homes in the contest are not going to have the money and experience that adults have in installing holiday decorations, so they are judged on how much creativity and heart go into it.

“A couple years ago, there was a youth entry that was hard to believe he had not received adult assistance because it was so spectacular,” Vincent said. “We are much more critical of the adults because they have the wherewithal, the knowledge and, most of the time, have been saving up over the year to buy the lights.”

Last year’s Adult category winner who lives on the corner of Sparks and Oak streets had so many intricate things going on, that’s what made it stand out, he said. Years ago a house on Grinnell had windows filled with hundreds of bears, dolls and other toys and lots of animation going on.

“It takes them weeks to set these things up,” he said.

Some folks who enter the contest have simply one string of lights. Vincent doesn’t know why they enter.

“But there are more people who don’t enter that have really marvelous displays,” he said.

To encourage more people to enter the contest, Vincent has been driving around and passing out applications to homeowners who have decorated their homes.

While judging Commercial entries, the committee looks for creativity, Vincent said, it is not about dollars spend, it’s about business owners who put their heart and soul into their displays.

Two years ago the Holiday Inn won because along with their decorations they had people caroling, employees passing out hot chocolate and cookies and a machine creating snow flurries.

“It was just a beautiful scene,” Vincent said. “Last year none of that happened or else we missed it and we moved to the bank on Alameda that had beautiful decorations all the way around the building.”

To be judged, lights need to be kept on from dusk to 11:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12. Decorations must be visible from the street. Residents and business owners must submit a printed copy of the  entry form, which is posted on the City of Burbank website www.burbankca.gov/.


Entry forms are also available at the Community Services Building, 150 N. Third St.; City Clerk’s office at City Hall, 275 E. Olive Ave., all the libraries and Park Community Centers (Ovrom, McCambridge, Joslyn, Olive, Tuttle, Verdugo) and via the City’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BurbankCA.

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