Time to decorate your hay bales: annual contest begins Saturday

Decorating for this year’s Fall Festival in Miles City will begin on Saturday. Local merchants and residents are invited to show their pride in our community by continuing the annual tradition of decorating their businesses and homes for autumn.

A Hay Bale Decorating Contest is open to all interested participants and also starts Oct. 1. The bales must be completed by Saturday, Oct. 15.

Anyone wishing to participate in the 2016 Hay Bale Decorating Contest may register at the Miles City Area Chamber of Commerce Office at 511 Pleasant St., pay their fees and receive their vouchers to pick up “square” hay bales at Steadman’s Ace Hardware at 611 S. Haynes Ave.

Fees are $15 for one bale; $30 for two bales; or $50 for five bales. Contest participants may use a maximum of five “square” bales in each design. Each entrant is responsible for getting permission from the business where he or she wishes to set up a display.

The theme of this year’s contest is “Blue and Gold.” However, entries also may be decorated for fall.

“Bales should be decorated with a good, clean, wholesome nature,” said Sharlene Wallace of the Miles City Girl Scouts. “No vulgar decorations will be allowed.”

Wallace added: “This event is a fundraiser for the Miles City Girl Scouts.”

Entries will be judged on appearance, creativity, construction and use of materials.

Each entrant should provide a 2-foot by 2-foot sign with the entrant’s, business or team name. Judging of the bales will be between Sunday, Oct. 16, and Thursday, Oct. 20. The names of the first, second and third place winners will be posted. Winners will receive Chamber Bucks with $50 going to the first place winner, $30 to second place and $20 to third place.

Contest entrants should check their hay bales regularly to make sure they are stable and not damaged. 

“We ask you to keep your decorated display up, and intact, until Saturday, Nov. 5,” said Wallace.

Each individual or group entering the contest is responsible for cleaning up the hay bales and decoration sites in November.

In conjunction with the Hay Bale Decorating Contest, a Hay Day Vendor Show is planned on Saturday, Oct. 22, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the parking lot between Main Street Grind and Miles City Jewelry. The event, with prizes, vendors and other festivities, will be hosted by the Miles City Girl Scouts. To register as a vendor, contact the Chamber of Commerce. 

“Nonprofit groups can set up free of charge,” explained Wallace. “The fee for all others is $20 per table and you provide the table.”

For more information about these events call the chamber office at 234-2890 or Wallace at 853-0337.