Holiday Storefront Competition


DDA Staff is excited to bring back a fun, and creative holiday tradition to the Downtown, Depot Town, and West Cross districts. The DDA launched the Holiday Storefront Competition and 17 DDA district businesses participated.  The competition had over 550 unique votes.  Over half were scanned through the QR codes we provided on the front of the businesses.  All participating storefronts displayed great care and artistry, and helped make Ypsilanti a festive destination for the holidays.

Businesses are encouraged to decorate their windows and storefronts for the holiday season. The DDA captures this positive holiday energy by holding a public vote, marketing the competition, and providing a small reward to the most popular storefronts. 

This year we have TWO new categories!

All categories are up to each voters interpretation. Traditional may not necessarily imply Christmas themed, most “ypsi” can mean weird and wacky to some and to others it is literal.  Most engaging might mean interactive, or might evoke the most feeling. 

  • Best Overall Display

  • Best Lighting Display

  • Best Traditional Display

  • Most “Ypsi” Display

  • Most Inclusive Display

  • Most Engaging Display

Best overall display will win $1000 worth of $20 gift cards purchased by the DDA, raffled to people who participated in voting.  The public will also vote on the following categories and each category winner will win $500 worth of gift cards distributed the same way to those who participated in the voting process. Each storefront can only win one category. 

This program will be very helpful publicity for many shops gearing up for the holiday shopping season and we want to help support this effort. The DDA will place QR codes on each window display that the public can scan to vote. 

Business Submissions must be in by Monday, November 28th.

Installations must be completed and photographed and submitted to the DDA by Friday, December 2 at NOON and official voting will begin Friday, December 2nd at 5pm during First Fridays Ypsilanti.

Voting will close on Sunday, January 1st at midnight. 

Winners will be announced in the first week of January.

Eligibility Requirements for DDA Businesses:

  • Must be located within the DDA Districts
  • Must have physical or digital Gift cards or certificates available** for the DDA to purchase and pick up by Monday January 16th. “Guest Lists” or tabs in lieu of gift cards will not be accepted.
  • In order to accept the prize money, winning businesses will be asked to provide w9, ACH form, and a copy of a voided check, unless they have already received money from the DDA in the past.
  • Willing to put a QR code in front display for voting.

**If gift cards are not in your business model (ie. you’re a real estate or financial office in the DDA) and you want to participate, we invite you to have a conversation with us about how this competition can benefit your business.  Last year, we had a business compete for another retail business in the DDA. The prize can also help support your business create a free event or workshop that will bring guests to the district during the months of January or February. The point of this competition is not only to create fun competition in the city, but to incentivize voters to come back to the district and shop or dine during the slowest season for food and retail. You will be invited to put any single page promotional material into the 100 gift cards we distribute into the community if your storefront wins.

Be sure to sign up using the buttons on this page and to send a completed installation photo to by December 2nd at noon to be included in the online voting page.  

We HIGHLY recommend you complete the installation at least one day in advance so you can capture the perfect night time photo of your storefront in its full decoration glory. Most votes come in the moment we open them online so you will want to have your storefront photo looking its best.
Late submissions will be accepted, but not recommended since it drastically hurts your chances of winning kick off event votes. *Failing to provide a photo of your storefront by noon on December 2nd may  lose you a few days of votes! 


Voting opens