Spooky scenes, ghoul-filled gardens, and possibly a few creepy creatures hit courtyards across town when a Halloween contest first held last year has returned like a corpse emerging from its grave.
According to the organizers of the Meadville Council on the Arts (MCA), the second annual Halloween Yard Decorating Contest is on, and the key to success is as clear as a new tombstone on a full moon.
“Be brave!” MCA advised on the announcement of the competition on social media. “Be original!”
Contest organizer Tom Hall hopes the second version of the contest will build on the first.
“If people drove around and looked at that stuff last year, they would have seen a nice variety of yards,” Hall said. “I hope they have been inspired by what they have seen and are trying to come up with bigger and better displays this year.”
Contestants should record a 10-15 second video showing their various courtyard decorations and post the video in a comment on MCA’s Facebook announcement of the event. After their video is published, participants should submit their contact information to ArtsMeadville.org/contacts so that the judges can visit the displays before casting their vote. The three-person jury is expected to consist of an artist, a filmmaker and a landscape architect, according to Hall, so that the courtyards can be viewed from three perspectives.
When the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the 2020 Meadville Halloween Parade being canceled, Hall and his son Geoff promoted the inaugural Yard Decorating Contest as a fun and easy way to get people out of the house safely and in the Halloween spirit. This year, they hope the competition will help spark the Halloween craze in the days leading up to Trick-or-Treat Night, which the Meadville City Council is slated to schedule on October 28th and the parade on October 30th.
“I’m glad it’s back,” Hall said of the parade.
The finalists for the best decorated courtyard will be selected from the video clips posted in the event announcement on Facebook. Videos must be submitted by October 17th. After the competition judges have visited the shipyards, the top three winners will be announced on October 22nd and will receive yard signs which, according to the MCA, entitle them to add “many bragging rights” to their displays.
Mike Crowley can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or email at [email protected]