Enter the Patriotic Home Contest

(Editor’s note: This story first appeared in the 2024 Palisades Americanism Parade Association Fourth of July Parade program and is reprinted with permission.)

The Mass Family on Alma Real won the 4th of July home decorating contest this year.


It’s that time again for the most festive and highly anticipated day of pomp and circumstance in Pacific Palisades, the Fourth of July!

Not just for locals, visitors from all over Los Angeles fill the chair-lined sidewalks of Sunset Boulevard to celebrate our Nation’s independence.

A lot of preparation and planning takes place to ensure the day’s success. Unbeknownst to out-of-town guests, the day’s excitement starts long before the parade’s noisemakers and picture-takers arrive.

Since 2008, the Home Decorating Contest has been a fan favorite kickstart to the Fourth of July festivities.

Sponsoring this year’s July 4th home decorating contest are local realtors, Susan

Montgomery and Violetta Hargitay of Sotheby’s International Realty office on Sunset. Susan and Violetta are continuing the Home Decorating Contest tradition in honor of their former colleague, Joan Sather. They encourage Palisadian residents to show their patriotic spirit, by decorating their homes, windows, and balconies.

Everyone is welcome to enter. It is not about how big the display is but the spirit you put into it!

 Eligible Properties and Awards:

All homes in Pacific Palisades are eligible. Awards will be given to the “Most Patriotic Home,” “Runner-Up Most Patriotic Home” and the “Joan Sather Memorial Sponsor’s Award,” given to the home that employs the most outstanding use of homemade decorative elements.

How to Enter:

Upload a photo of your house and post it on our Facebook page or to your Instagram feed (with #Palisades4thHomeContest in the description) by 5 p.m. on July 2nd. No registration or fee is required. If you have questions or need help, email homecontest@palisades4th.com or contact Susan Montgomery at susan.montgomery@sothebyshomes.com.


Judging will be conducted, and winners notified around 4 p.m. on July 3. Winning houses will be displayed on the 4th of July website, as well as on Facebook and Instagram. Judging is based upon originality of design and spectator appeal. Judges’ decisions are final.

Need a little creative inspiration to get you started?

Here are 10 ideas to spruce up your home, apartment, mobile home, or condominium complex this Fourth of July. 

  1. Bust out the lights! Those lights you store in a box all year long that only come out in December, why not line an American Flag in lights and hang it outside your front door or balcony?
  2. “Float” your front yard. Maybe you have kids’ toys in the garage or workout equipment that served better as a coat rack for the past year; pull it out of retirement and give it a fun facelift with streamers and signs to replicate a float you’d see in the parade.
  3. Recycle, repurpose, reuse. Create shiny mobiles using household items like silverware and pie pans, tin foil, and metal trays from takeout; you might cut or form the foil into star shapes to string them along with other metal material to create a shiny symphony of sound and spirit to hang on your front lawn.
  4. Play with mother nature. Gather colorful flowers from the yard, store, or farmers market. Combine greenery, with sparkly items around the home to make a festive Fourth of July wreath and hang it on your door, balcony or porch.
  5. Bunting is always a good idea. Wrap your home or balcony up like a Fourth of July present and gift it to the neighborhood.
  6. Create a patriotic memorial to those who served for our freedom. A project for the whole family to participate, print or draw pictures of patriotic images and stake your lawn, balcony or porch with pride of the past.
  7. Go traditional with red, white, and blue decorations that you make or buy. Because not all of us have the time or patience to create.
  8. Free Solo. Make a red and blue solo cup display on your lawn in the shape of the American Flag. Fill in with white paper cups to make the stars. Good news you can re-use the cups later at your barbecue for beer pong.
  9. Go Co-Op. Whether you live in a home, apartment building or condo, gather your neighbors to create a theme and collectively decorate the front of your homes, balconies or windows.
  10. Seeing stars. Borrow the skylight of stars your kids had to have for the ceiling of their bedroom and project it onto the wall or a white sheet with a patriotic message.

Marge and Bob Gold invited neighbors to tie a ribbon on their fence. The Golds received the Joan Sather Award.



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