The people have spoken: Pearl Street Pub named winner of first-ever Downtown Albany Decorating Contest | Downtown Albany

The people have spoken: Pearl Street Pub named winner of first-ever Downtown Albany Decorating Contest

The people have spoken: Pearl Street Pub named winner of first-ever Downtown Albany Decorating Contest

The BID’s inaugural holiday window decorating contest was held from December 7 to December 31, showcasing the seasonal outdoor decor of 23 Downtown businesses in a festive, friendly competition.

The winner was decided by public polling, with more than 2,300 total votes received through online voting and paper ballots, which were collected at the Downtown Albany BID office, Albany City Hall, and the Fort Orange Holiday Market. Pearl Street Pub’s winning display featured a brightly-lit winter snow scene and a unique eight-foot-tall “tequila tree” constructed from 149 individual Patrón bottles.

Spearheaded by Pearl Street Pub employees Anni Cole and Brad Gallotta, the display took roughly 16 hours to complete. By midnight on December 31, Pearl Street Pub had received 799 votes to take home the Downtown Decorating Cup, a one-of-kind faux gingerbread trophy handcrafted by local artist Mitchell Biernacki of Daydream Hunter Creations.
The 23 participants represented the true diversity of Downtown businesses, and included restaurants, retail stores, salons, coffee shops, hotels, box offices, fitness studios, and more. The creative displays ranged from enormous Christmas trees to animatronic reindeer, from life-sized inflatable snowmen to elaborately decorated wreaths. Garland, stockings, faux fireplaces, and thousands of lights greeted Downtown visitors and residents throughout the contest. Dawn’s Victory Sports Café finished the competition in a close second place, just 97 votes behind Pearl Street PubThe Olde English Pub and Pantry rounded out the top three, with contest runners-up including The Enchanted Florist of Albany and Bombshell Hair & Beauty Studio.

The competing window displays can be viewed in the BID’s Downtown Decorating Contest Facebook album, and many are still up at the individual businesses for patrons to view on their next evening stroll through Downtown. 

“From restaurants to retailers to salons, there was an incredible amount of creativity on display this holiday season for the inaugural Downtown Decorating Contest,” said Downtown Albany BID executive director Georgette Steffens. “Congratulations to Pearl Street Pub, owner Chris Pratt, and his team for this unique honor. We are proud to feature this display on various BID marketing materials in 2019 as a beautiful example of the imagination that our Downtown businesses showcase every day in their various industries. These displays were a great representation of the innovative spirit that our participants bring to their menus, fashion designs, concert calendars, floral arrangements, hair styles, and so much more."
“We’re really excited. This was a great competition for Downtown,” said Pearl Street Pub owner Chris Pratt. “The Downtown Decorating Contest was an opportunity for businesses to spread some holiday cheer, while really showing what their storefronts have to offer. I’m very proud of Anni and Brad for all their hard work on this unique display. We look forward to next year!”

For more information on the Downtown Decorating Contest, visit