Friday night kicks off the third year of the holiday projection mapping display Let Glow SF, bringing animated ice castles and freaky festive projections to the sides of San Francisco buildings.

For the third year in a row, a holiday projection mapping attraction called Let’s Glow SF will holly-jolly the dickens out of the sides of San Francisco buildings. The visual winter wonders, which transform the sides of several downtown San Francisco buildings into animated holiday displays, begin tonight, Friday, December 1, with a 6:30 p.m. countdown and kickoff celebration at the Ferry Building.

“Let’s Glow SF, the country’s largest holiday projection event, will return to downtown San Francisco this holiday season, from December 1st through 10th,” the project’s sponsor Downtown SF Partnership says in a release. “The FREE outdoor holiday event will use high-tech Panasonic projectors and lasers to project large-scale art concepts across the facade of five iconic SF buildings from 5-10 PM nightly, including the Ferry Building for the first time ever. "

Image via Downtown SF

While we don’t have any video of this year’s projections yet, that Ferry Building display sounds particularly intriguing. Artist Yann Nguema’s “The Shadow Lighthouse” will use the freshly-unscaffolded Ferry Building as its canvas. In the words of the artist, the project “molds the architectural facade of the Ferry Building Market Place of San Francisco together with virtual algorithmic constructions.”

There will also be displays at the Hobart Building, Landing at Leidesdorff, One Bush Plaza, and the Pacific Stock Exchange building, all running through Sunday, December 10.

Image via Downtown SF

But do these projections really do anything to bring tourism or business to downtown SF? The organizers say yes, they do. According to the Downtown SF Pernership’s numbers, last year’s display brought $3 million into the downtown economy, and they estimate that 51,000 people came to see the show over its run.

Let’s Glow SF runs Saturday, December 2 through Sunday, December Dec. 10 from 5-10 p.m. nightly, with a lighting ceremony at the Ferry Building on Friday, December 1 at 6:30 p.m., and the projections on display until 10 p.m. Friday night.

Related: Holiday-Themed Projection Mapping Will Display on Downtown SF Buildings [SFist]

Image via Downtown SF