Mayor's Office of Special Events

Commemorative Lighting Policies and Procedures


  • To celebrate international, national and community wide events or causes.


  • These Policies and Procedures apply only to City Hall. At this time the Bridges and the 6 light bridges that span I-69 in the Montrose area (Hazard, Woodhead, Dunlavy, Mandell, Graustark & Montrose), collectively called the Montrose Bridges are not available due to maintenance issues indefinitely and until further notice.


  • Non-denominational, non-profits and charitable events or causes (501(C) (3)) are eligible to make a request. Lighting will not be considered for commercial or private entities and / or personal occasions.


  • Lighting requests must be made by filling out and submitting an on-line Lighting Request Form.  Lighting Request Form may be found at; you can also view a copy below (Exhibit A).  There is no automatic renewal agreement. A new request must be submitted annually as needed.  Requests are typically handled on a first come, first served basis. 
  • Applicants will receive an electronic response stating whether the request has been approved. Not all requests can be accommodated. If an application is declined, it is not a reflection of the merits or importance of the request.

To Be Considered:

  • Nominations must be received a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of 1 year in advance of the lighting date(s) requested. Lightings in honor of holidays, historical events, and extraordinary events/occurrences of City, State, National or International significance, and/or City and Regional initiatives will be considered. The application must be submitted by a management representative of the official organization making the request. Special themed lighting is at the sole discretion of the City of Houston.

Evaluation and Other Considerations:

  • Requests will be evaluated based on factors including: nature of cause/event; history and background of organization, cause/event; how the lighting will benefit the cause/event; the relationship of the lighting to the cause/event; and relevance to the City of Houston.
  • The City of Houston may override any existing and confirmed illuminations in support of citywide, national or world emergency observances, and will work with requestors to best accommodate or reschedule the original request.
  • No organization may have the light configurations for more than four (4) consecutive days.  The length of time for each approved request is entirely at the discretion of the City of Houston.
  • The City of Houston endeavors to accommodate as many requests as possible, and requests are typically handled on a first come, first served basis.
  • Priority in choosing colors for illuminations will be given to promoting events that celebrate the City, its civic institutions, local universities, City-recognized holidays, public events and festivals. Requests to change the color or pattern of the decorative lights may be accommodated when feasible. 
  • If multiple requests are made for different colors on the same dates, preference will be given to events that are locally organized and that affect the largest number of City of Houston residents.
  • Requests from commercial entities seeking to promote a product or service, or individual requests to recognize a personal birthday or anniversary will not be approved.
  • The City of Houston retains the right to refuse any request for any reasons whatsoever.
  • The Hermann Square decorative lights on the oak trees are not programmable.
  • A schedule of City Hall illuminations and what the colors signify is available on a comprehensive events calendar.

RGB Color Model:

  • The Decorative Lighting system on City Hall and the Montrose Bridges uses a standard RGB Color Model.  The RGB model is an additive color model in which red, green and blue light are added together in various combinations to reproduce a broad array of color known as real color. 
  • Requests for specific colors or tones not considered as real may not be able to be achieved due to limitations associated with lighting capabilities on the current color model. Colors such as grey, silver, maroon and black, for example, are not possible to achieve.
  • At this time the 6 light bridges that span I-69 in the Montrose area (Hazard, Woodhead, Dunlavy, Mandell, Graustark & Montrose), collectively called the Montrose Bridges are not available due to maintenance issues indefinitely and until further notice.

Exhibit A


Exhibit B
Official Lighting Program for Holidays and Select Community and Sporting Events

  • Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Day - red, white and blue
  • Valentine’s Day - red
  • President’s Day - red, white and blue
  • St. Patrick’s Day - green
  • Easter Weekend - purple
  • Earth Day - green and blue
  • Cinco de Mayo - green, white and red
  • Police Week - blue
  • Memorial Day - red, white and blue
  • Pride Week - rainbow colors
  • 4th of July - red, white and blue
  • September 11 - red, white and blue
  • Fiestas Patrias - green, white and red
  • Halloween - orange or green and purple
  • Veteran’s Day - red, white and blue
  • Thanksgiving - orange or similar tone
  • Pearl Harbor Day - red, white and blue
  • Hanukkah - blue and white
  • Christmas - red and green
  • New Year’s Eve - bright white or gold

Sports Teams: Dates TBD based on playoffs etc. Includes:

  • Texans and other possible NFL events
  • Dynamo, Rockets, and Astros
  • University of Houston, Rice University, Texas Southern University, St. Thomas University, and Houston Baptist University