SIKESTON - It might be a little early to envision going trick-or-treating, but there couldn't be a better time to start thinking about what to enter in the Seventh Annual Halloween Window Painting Contest.
The project will give non-profit youth groups an opportunity to paint windows in the downtown area from 8-10 a.m. Oct. 27. The theme will be centered around Red Ribbon Week, which focuses on drug awareness, and a red ribbon must be displayed on at least one Halloween character to qualify for prizes.
It's a joint effort, said Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Missy Marshall. The Chamber organizes the event, the Elks Lodge donates the prize money, the Ladies Auxiliary coordinates the judging and the participants have a fun-filled morning.
"This project is a way of showing community spirit and the prizes support our youth organizations," Marshall pointed out. "It's a chance to show artistic talent. Besides, how often are kids given permission to paint on store windows?"
There will be three categories of competition: the windows deemed scariest, most creative and most drug awareness/Red Ribbon Week-oriented. The winners in each category will receive $150.
Applications can be obtained at the Chamber office, located at 1 Industrial Drive, and must be returned there no later than 5 p.m. Oct. 19. The Chamber members are hoping interested groups will turn in their applications soon to enable the staff to begin assigning windows.
Participants must represent a not-for-profit youth organization and although adults are not allowed to paint the windows, adult supervision is required.
Drop cloths or newspaper must be used and each group is responsible for cleaning their own area when finished. Only tempra paint may be used and no ladders are allowed. The name of the organization, not individual participants, must be written on the window.
Participants are responsible for cleaning the windows by Nov. 3.
"This project is a partnership between the Chamber and the Sikeston Elks Club and Elks Auxiliary to promote community spirit, creativity and last but not least help our community," Marshall said. "It is an opportunity for youth groups to win cash prizes to support their organizations. They also receive recognition by placing their group's name on the displays. I would encourage any non-profit youth group to fill out their application soon."
For more information call the Chamber at 471-2498.