SCHENECTADY — The Bear and Bird Boutique + Gallery on Jay Street claimed the People’s Choice award at the second annual IlluminoCity awards at a ceremony at the Schenectady Armory Center on Wednesday night.
The Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation (DSIC) and Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy announced the winners at the Wednesday event, which saw area businesses win prizes for their holiday light displays for their charity of choice.
The Bear and Bird Boutique won $2,500 for the Schenectady ARC Horticulture Center, with M/E Engineering claiming first prize in the Schenectady Pride category, with the $1,500 award going to the firm’s chosen nonprofit, the Schenectady Inner City Ministry.
“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,” Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy noted in a statement. “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.”
Schenectady Hardware & Electric won the most traditional category in this season’s awards on behalf of Northern Rivers Family of Services, with Suriano’s Deli winning the dream big category, with the $1,500 prize bound for the Animal Protective Foundation.
“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,” DSIC Executive Director Jim Salengo declared in a statement. “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.”
Habitat for Humanity of Schenectady County won first place in the most creative category, with the nonprofit organization competing on behalf of itself. A total of 25 downtown businesses and organizations took part in the competition, which ran from Nov. 19 to Jan. 14.