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    Holiday Traditions

Downtown Syracuse is the centerpiece for holiday traditions in our community. We know nothing compares with the atmosphere of bustling city sidewalks, delicious treats, lighted decorations on buildings and streets and gorgeous window displays that bring the magic of the season to life.

 
Window Wonderland Contest
 

Window Wonderland Contest

Vote for Your Favorite Downtown Holiday Window Display!

34 businesses participating in 4th Annual Window Wonderland Contest

A record 34 businesses have transformed their ground-floor windows into engaging winter and holiday scenes to participate in our 4th Annual Window Wonderland Contest. The promotion was designed to boost holiday spirit, entertain visitors and attract new customers to experience Downtown’s variety of retail, restaurant and cultural offerings. The contest continues through New Year’s Day, with the idea that while families and neighbors are out and about – whether it’s for the Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, November 29, Small Business Saturday shopping on Saturday, November 30, Holidays in the City scheduled for December 7, or other favorite traditions – that they’ll also incorporate the window displays outlined in the accompanying map into their plans.

How to Vote: An “Official Window Wonderland Contest Entry” sign signifies a storefront’s participation. The community will be able to vote for their favorite displays until New Year’s Day, January 1, 2020. A link to vote online is posted here, accessible via smartphones as well. Photos of the displays are also posted there (and additional display photos will be added as we receive them). Winning displays will be announced in our News & Events newsletter on Thursday, January 2.   

Prizes: The business featuring the display with the most votes will receive a grand prize of $500; second place will be awarded $250, and third place will fetch $100. A list of all participants is provided below.

2019 Window Wonderland Map

 
Holiday Newsletters
 

Holiday Newsletters

Our Marketing & Communications team promotes all of the special events, traditions, and specials that Downtown businesses are offering. We package everything together in a special Holiday version of our News & Events newsletter, which will be sent out every Thursday through the month of December.

Downtown businesses: If you’re planning to hold sales, offer discounts, or host a special event, please let us know! Feel free to send your promotions to us all at once, or as your plans progress. Submissions to be included in each week's Thursday Holiday Newsletter must be received by Tuesday afternoon at 3:00 pm.

The most recent edition of the newsletter can be found on our Downtown in the News page.

 
Holidays in the City
 

Holidays in the City

Holidays in the City returns to Downtown Syracuse on Saturday December 7th! Activities are scheduled from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm in and around Clinton and Hanover Squares. Holidays in the City, held in partnership by Advance Media New York, the City of Syracuse and the Downtown Committee, is a celebration of the magic of the holiday season.

The event promises to deliver a one-of-a-kind winter experience that features real reindeer in Hanover Square, a “smart” Santa experience at City Hall Commons Atrium, strolling carolers and a Holiday Window Walk. Central Library will host holiday activities on every floor including 3D printing. The Onondaga Historical Association will “winterize” its “Strolling Down Salina Street” exhibit, putting a special holiday twist on it. Plus, time honored traditions, including the Gingerbread Gallery exhibit at the Erie Canal Museum and the Festival of Trees at the Everson Museum of Art, will be featured stops along the way. For your convenience, there will be a special holiday trolley to take you from place to place.

Click here for full schedule of events, activities, shuttle routes and specials.

 
Downtown Elves, Dash and Dot, Return
 

Downtown Elves, Dash and Dot, Return

Our seasonal staff members, Dash and Dot, The Downtown Elves, return from the North Pole to visit the newest businesses in Downtown Syracuse, and catch up with the friends they've made at some of their favorite places as well. 

The elves’ mission is to highlight Downtown Syracuse as a retail destination. They’ll spend the next month spreading cheer and promoting meaningful gift options found in Downtown’s retail shops, restaurants, hotels and cultural institutions. Each day through December 24, they’ll visit a new place and post pictures of their adventures across the Downtown Committee’s social media platforms. Follow their adventures and keep up with the elves across our FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages. If you recognize the place(s) where they're photographed, send your guess(es) to mail@downtownsyracuse.com. Each correct guess will be entered into a weekly drawing to win gift cards/certificates redeemable at Downtown businesses.