My advice is to take advantage of the opportunity. There should be clear weather this Friday evening, unlike last year. But when you see a gaggle of photographers setting-up their tripods at the same spot to get the same shot of the skyline reflected in the river, turn and go the other way. The best image will NOT be the one that wins the contest. It will be the photograph that speaks clearly of how YOU see and interpret light and subject.
Look for the unique – the location or viewpoint that all others fail to see or an angle that worked well for you when photographing entirely different subjects. Break away. Dare to be different. Judging in these contests is usually far from being truly objective (especially where local “art experts” are concerned), so even if you don’t enter, hold that image that you feel good about and look for other avenues to gain the exposure (no pun intended) that you deserve.
Most important of all, just have fun. That’s when that “award-winner” will appear through your viewfinder.