This article originally appeared in BuffaloRising on December 11th, 2012

NFOL flyer 2012.2

It’s hard to imagine that this is already the fifth year that the West Side is organizing a festival of lights. Each year more businesses, neighborhoods and block clubs add to the competition, and while this might not be as flashy as the old Festival of Lights in Niagara Falls, there is a certain grassroots charm to this event that makes it ever so endearing.

Between Thanksgiving and January 6th, households from Front Park to Symphony Circle vie for top prizes from local businesses that have included Sweetness7, Morning Glory Cafe, Elmwood Village Fabrics, Grassroots Gardens, Chef’s, Delish, Allentown Hardware, Amory Tavern, Avalon Scarves, Chuck Cardone Barbershop, Faces of Buffalo- Art Mosaics, Louie’s Charcoal Hot Dogs, ING Photography, Boomerangs, Marco’s Ristorante, Buffalo State College, Wegman’s, Tops, Certo Brothers Distributing, Albano Automotive, Carm and Sal’s Auto Service and Entertainment Book.

You can find out more information on the group’s Facebook page – whether you want to enter the competition, or walk around the neighborhoods checking out the lights, there is plenty of support to get you heading in the right direction.

Below you will even find a map outlining the neighborhoods.

Recently, the five block clubs that made up the crux of these neighborhoods formed the Prospect Hill Neighborhood Alliance*. The Alliance’s goal is to create a winter wonderland, the same way that The Garden Walk put the West Side on the map for its gardens. Be sure to come out and check out how many houses are lit up this holiday season. Seeing all of the lights on the houses definitely shows a sense of pride by homeowners as well as renters. Hopefully we’ll be able to showcase the winners of the competition after the judging is complete!

*Cottage District, Fargo Estate, Armory Hill, Kleinhans and Columbus Park Neighborhood Associations

NFOL flyer 2012.2