It may only be virtual, but city officials promise this year’s Light Up Brookhaven holiday celebration is going to be different but fun with a tree lighting and yard decoration contest.

“The holidays are for children and we are determined not to let the pandemic Grinch steal that away, especially from them,” said Mayor John Ernst in a press release. “Challenges throughout the year may have tested our resolve, but they have also made all of us look for creative ways to accomplish our goals.”

The tree and menorah at the 2019 edition of Light Up Brookhaven. (File)

Virtual because of COVID-19 concerns, Light Up Brookhaven has been reshaped into a series of separate activities, starting with the traditional lighting of a holiday tree and menorah slated for Dec. 2. The winners of the yard decoration contest will be announced Dec. 14.

The twist this year is that each City Council member will deliver holiday greetings from their homes or one of the city parks, culminating with a grand finale lighting by Ernst in Blackburn Park.

The public can tune in to the Dec. 2 event beginning at 6 p.m. on the City’s Facebook account at

There will also be a city-wide yard decoration contest for residents and businesses. The top three winners in each category will get a plaque or yard sign to let everyone know their display won.

Explore Brookhaven, the city’s convention and visitors bureau, will create driving maps of all entries and publicize it in surrounding towns to bring others to Brookhaven for a socially distanced viewing. To download the map, go to

The contest will be judged Dec. 7 with winners announced Dec. 14. To enter and to get other information, contact Mallory Izbicki at

Holly R. Price is a freelance writer based in metro Atlanta.