PAPA Expands Home Decorating Contest for the 4th of July

The Farham/Robletto Home on Via de la Paz won the Fourth of July Home Decorating Contest last year.  Judges liked the varied decorations that started in the yard and went to the rooftop.

Since the traditional Fourth of July events have to be cancelled this year in Pacific Palisades–the morning run, the afternoon parade and the evening concert/fireworks–the emphasis will be on activities we can enjoy at home, as a community.

For example, to help Palisades residents celebrate their homes, the annual 4th of July Home Decorating Contest has been expanded. Local realtors Joan Sather and Susan Montgomery (who are partners at Sotheby’s International) will once again sponsor the contest.

The Palisades Americanism Parade Association (PAPA) has created five categories this year, with first and runner-up winners announced in each category. In addition to bragging rights, there will be prizes.



Residents can enter one of five categories:

1) “Hometown Style,” which means using homemade decorative elements. In 2015, the Jack and Sharon Sutton family on Galloway was the winner with a colored cutout paper USA in the front window and small flags located throughout their drought-tolerant landscape. In an interview that year, Zach Sutton, 8, who was visiting his grandparents from New Jersey, said: “I took big pieces of paper and cut the lines with a ruler. It was my idea to put up the stars around the USA, too.”

2) With “In This Together,” the idea is to best represent that theme. Have your family put on their thinking caps and come up with what Covid-19 and safer-at-home means to everyone.

3) “Proof Through the Night” will finally give those who decorate with lights a chance to shine. Generally, judges just see the daytime effort, but in the past they were told that there were some outstanding lighting displays. If you are one of the people who have a myriad of star lights or red, white and blue lights framing your house—this is the category for you.

4) “Americana Award” is one that best depicts national treasures and traditions. One of the most beautifully decorated patriotic homes in past contests was the Hassett family on DePauw. The flags and patriotic bunting drew ahs from the neighbors and those walking/driving past.

And finally,

5) “Grand Champion Award,” which will be given for best-overall display. The Mercer family on Toyopa, which won in 2010 and 2013, managed to decorate not only the front yard, but also the house itself.


Start planning which category your family would like to enter and then secure the supplies before stores run out.


Once your house is completed, upload a photo of your home and provide the street address to either the PAPA website ( or the PAPA Facebook page ( or via Instagram, adding the tag #palisades4thhomecontest.

Want to try the lighting category, but don’t want to climb a ladder? A 10 percent discount is being offered by professional event lighting company Mobile Illumination, if you mention PAPA when you contact them ( or call (818) 914-0601.

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