City Announces Neighborhood Holiday Lights Contest Details

November 24, 2020

Portsmouth Citywide Neighborhood Committee Organizes
Mayor’s Holiday Lights Contest

Portsmouth, New Hampshire – At the November 16 City Council meeting, Mayor Rick Becksted announced the return of the Neighborhood Holiday Lights Contest for 2020, to give residents a way to celebrate together this holiday season. Now the Portsmouth Citywide Neighborhood Committee is announcing the details.

Residents are invited to register ONLINE to participate in the contest by completing this form (click the "Subscribe" button to complete your registration).


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Contest Category (check one)



The deadline to enter is December 10, 2020. (For a printable pdf of the entry form and more information, click here. Print out the form, scan it and email it to or mail c/o City Manager’s Office, City Hall, One Junkins Avenue, Portsmouth NH 03801.

The contest is open to every Portsmouth resident. Participants can choose one of two categories for judging of their outdoor light displays:

  • Classic Light Display
  • Creative Light Display

Contest entries will be judged by school-aged children, who will be driven through their assigned neighborhoods (not their own) to make their choices of the best holiday lights displays. Judging will take place between December 12 and 20. The Committee will create a map of the Holiday Lights Contest entries so that residents can tour the lighted locations route by car.

The winners of the following awards will be announced by Mayor Becksted at the December 21 City Council meeting;

  • Best Classic/Traditional Display – $500 Ricci Lumber Gift Certificate
  • Most Creative Display – $500 Home Depot Gift Certificate
  • Best Overall Display $500 Lowe’s Gift Certificate
  • Honorable Mentions – $25 Gift Certificates

In addition, to the prize donors, Seacoast Media Group is an in-kind sponsor, providing publicity and advertising space for the contest.

In announcing the contest details, Portsmouth Citywide Neighborhood Committee transitional chair Larry Cataldo said, “The Mayor was inspired by the extra effort residents made to make Halloween fun for the kids. Given all the bad news we have been experiencing, we agreed that an outdoor holiday lights contest would definitely inspire residents to bring a little joy to Portsmouth neighborhoods through their holiday displays.”

Committee members who are helping to coordinate the contest include Mark Syracusa as Contest Lead, Lori Soloway, handling neighborhood communications; Dave Cosgrove, developing the Google map and other IT details; Beth Margeson and Paul Mannle, providing organizational assistance on judging and prizes. Former CNC Chairs Kathy Bergeron and Christy Cardosa, City Councilor John Tabor and Islington Creek resident Nicole LaPierre assisted with planning.


Holiday light display.