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City News

Posted on: January 26, 2023

City of Schenectady and DSIC Announce ILLUMINOCITY Award Winners

Peoples Choice Award Winner

Second annual ILLUMINOCITY holiday lighting experience included 25 participants and ran from November 19, 2022 through January 14, 2023

Promotion featured lighting contest to benefit Schenectady County not-for-profit organizations

SCHENECTADY – Mayor Gary McCarthy and the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation (DSIC) announced the award winners of Schenectady’s second annual lighting experience and promotion, ILLUMINOCITY, at a Reveal Party held on Wednesday evening at the Armory Mess Hall at the Schenectady Armory Center. 

ILLUMINOCITY supports our community’s brightest lights, our not-for-profit organizations. Participating properties partnered with local not-for-profits in a friendly but competitive decorating contest to light up buildings downtown. ILLUMINOCITY kicked off the evening of the Holiday Parade on November 19, 2022 and ran through January 14, 2023.

The public and a panel of judges selected winners in a variety of categories. The public voted for People’s Choice Award, and the judges selected first, second, and third place winners in the Most Creative, Schenectady Pride, Most Traditional, and Parade Theme (Dream Big) categories. 

Mayor McCarthy said, “The City of Schenectady was pleased to join the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation and this year’s partners and sponsors to once again have ILLUMINOCITY light up our downtown and support our local not-for-profits. I congratulate all the winners of this year’s ILLUMINOCITY and thank them for participating to help shine a light on our city and its resurgence while helping to attract more people downtown, shop at our local businesses, and dine at our local restaurants throughout the holiday season and beyond. I look forward to next year’s ILLUMINOCITY being even bigger and brighter.”

Jim Salengo, DSIC Executive Director, said, “We are proud to help Downtown Schenectady shine during the holiday season by installing festive décor and lighting throughout the district, and ILLUMINOCITY only enhances these efforts. I am so impressed by the creativity of our property and business owners and their desire to create a magical experience for visitors, residents, and employees. Thank you and congratulations to all our participants, nonprofit partners, and contest winners.”

“Rivers Casino was proud to be the presenting sponsor for the ILLUMINOCITY holiday lighting experience,” said Rick Richards, Rivers Casino & Resort General Manager. “It was a fantastic promotion for the city, local businesses and, most importantly, our community not-for-profits. Rivers congratulates all the winners, and we look forward to bringing even more excitement to Schenectady in 2023.”

“It is wonderful to see how the buzz and excitement from last year’s ILLUMINOCITY inspired even more this year,” said Heather Peterson, Co-Chair of the ILLUMINOCITY Committee. “Imagine what next year will look like! Thank you to everyone who participated and looking forward to even more community spirit and brighter lights in the years ahead.”

“Thank you to all of the amazing customers and supporters of the Schenectady ARC for your very enthusiastic votes... you are the reason that we won the People's Choice Award in Schenectady's ILLUMINOCITY 2022,” said Amanda Magnetta, owner of Bear and Bird Boutique + Gallery. “Speaking to everyone and hearing about how much you loved our window display ‘Steinmetz in His Greenhouse’ - made all the hard work on this project worth it. Winning big money for our non-profit partner, to enable them to do more good in the community, is next level fantastic! IILLUMINOCITY has been a great motivator to be as creative as we could be, to show our Schenectady pride, and to dream big.”

The following are the award winners in each category:

People’s Choice

Bear and Bird Boutique + Gallery l Schenectady ARC Horticulture Center

Award = $2,500

Most Creative

1st Place – Habitat for Humanity of Schenectady County, Inc (self-hosting)

Award = $1,500

2nd Place – Law Office of Kathleen M. Toombs l Legacy Project – Capital Region Veterans Memorial

Award = $1,000

3rd Place – The Silver Shop l Things of My Very Own, Inc.

Award - $500

Schenectady Pride

1st Place – M/E Engineering l SICM

Award = $1,500

2nd Place – Meier Law Firm, PLLC l Safe Inc. of Schenectady

Award = $1,000

3rd Place – Pioneer l Miracle on Craig Street

Award = $500

Most Traditional

1st Place – Schenectady Hardware & Electric l Northern Rivers Family of Services

Award = $1,500

2nd Place – Highbridge Management, LLC l Umbrella of the Capital District, Inc.

Award = $1,000

3rd Place – The Schenectady Trading Company l Schenectady Greenmarket

Award = $500

Parade Theme

1st Place – Suriano’s Deli l Animal Protective Foundation

Award = $1,500

2nd Place – Proctors Collaborative (self-hosting)

Award = $1,000

3rd Place – Urban Co-Works l Mission Accomplished Transition Services

Award = $500

This year, 25 businesses, organizations, and not-for-profits participated and lit up their buildings. Additional sponsorship support for ILLUMINOCITY is provided by National Grid, Discover Schenectady, Pioneer, The Daily Gazette, Trustco, Berkshire Bank, and others. 

For more information, including a full list of this year’s participants, please visit


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