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City News

Posted on: November 10, 2022

City of Schenectady and DSIC Announce Second Year of ILLUMINOCITY Lighting Experience


Rivers Casino is presenting sponsor for season-long promotion that launches with the Schenectady Holiday Parade on Nov. 19

Promotion features lighting content to benefit Schenectady County not-for-profit organizations

SCHENECTADY – Mayor Gary McCarthy announced Schenectady’s second annual lighting experience and promotion, ILLUMINOCITY, at a press conference held on Thursday morning. The mayor has invited downtown properties to light up their buildings to celebrate the return of the Schenectady Holiday Parade and create a festive community atmosphere in the city all season long.

ILLUMINOCITY supports our community’s brightest lights, our not-for-profit organizations. Participating properties will partner with local not-for-profits in a friendly but competitive decorating contest to light up buildings downtown. The public and a panel of judges will select winners in a variety of categories. Cash prizes will be awarded to not-for-profits partnered with winning properties.

Mayor McCarthy said, “The City of Schenectady is pleased to join with the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation and other partners and sponsors to have ILLUMINOCITY light up our downtown once again and support our local not-for-profits. ILLUMINOCITY builds on the resurgence happening in Schenectady and will light up businesses and buildings to make our downtown more attractive and festive for the holiday season and give people a reason to come back downtown in the weeks following the Holiday Parade.”

Rivers Casino is the presenting sponsor for ILLUMINOCITY this year. 

Rick Richards, Rivers Casino & Resort General Manager, said, “As presenting sponsor for the ILLUMINOCITY Holiday Lighting Experience, we’re thrilled to be able to partner with the City and the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation in support of our community partners and local not-for-profits. It’s an exciting initiative that will also bring even more folks to the city, boost local business, and continue to drive Schenectady forward. We’re honored to take part in this fantastic promotion and wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.” 

Jim Salengo, Executive Director of the Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation (DSIC), said, “The DSIC has a long tradition of decorating downtown for the holidays, and we are excited for ILLUMINOCITY to amp up the seasonal experience here again this year. We invite everyone to visit, view, and vote for their favorite displays while enjoying our many restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues.”

Todd Garofano, Executive Director for Discover Schenectady, said, “The collaboration between Schenectady’s business community and our local not-for-profit organizations shines a bright light on the spirit of Schenectady each holiday season. Visitors and locals alike will be awed by the creative displays throughout the downtown area while enjoying our restaurants, shops, hotels, and nightlife throughout the holidays.” 

The following is a sample of business/not-for-profit pairings to date:

  • Bear and Bird Boutique + Gallery / Schenectady ARC Horticulture Center
  • Electric City Apartments / Homeward Bound
  • Great Flats Brewing / Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady
  • Highbridge Management / Umbrella of the Capital District
  • Katie O’Byrnes / Jack’s Place
  • Law Office of Kathleen M. Toombs / Legacy Project – Capital Region Veterans Memorial
  • ME Engineering / SICM
  • Meier Law Firm / Safe Inc. of Schenectady
  • The Nest / SLOC Musical Theater
  • New York Folklore / New York Folklore
  • Pioneer / Miracle on Craig Street
  • Proctors / Proctors Collaborative
  • ReStore / Habitat for Humanity of Schenectady County
  • Schenectady County Office of Probation and Children and Family Services / City Mission
  • Schenectady Hardware & Electric / Northern Rivers Family of Services
  • Take Two Café / Crossroads Center for Children
  • The Schenectady Trading Company / Schenectady Greenmarket
  • The Silver Shop / Things of My Very Own
  • Suriano’s Deli / Animal Protective Foundation
  • Trustco Bank / Schenectady County Historical Society
  • Urban Co-Works / Mission Accomplished Transition Services
  • Wedgeway Barbershop / Friends of Schenectady Co. Child Advocacy Center
  • The Whitney Book Corner / Friends of the Schenectady County Public Library

Last year, 28 businesses and 27 not-for-profits participated and lit up their buildings with several design categories. Participants were awarded a total of $25,500 for their lighting with various prizes to support a range of not-for-profits.

ILLUMINOCITY will have its big reveal the night of the 2022 Schenectady Holiday Parade on November 19 and wrap up after the New Year. Prizes will be awarded at a special ceremony in January 2023.

Additional sponsorship support for ILLUMINOCITY is provided by National Grid, Discover Schenectady, Pioneer, The Daily Gazette, Trustco, and Berkshire Bank. For more information, please visit


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