Hay bale displays of Disney Minions, pumpkins and a giant mug of hot peppermint cocoa have been dominating the local landscape of late thanks to a competition sponsored by the Rugby Jaycees in October.
A ghost and jack-o-lantern buddy made of square bales painted white and orange greet customers at Steve Mueller’s NoDak insurance office.
A round bale, painted to look like a cup of peppermint cocoa, bears the Merchants Bank logo and is made of cotton material designed to resemble marshmallows. Outside the Rugby Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau offices, another round bale is decorated to look like a caravan, complete with deck chairs and a bonfire.
Rugby Jaycees’ Jennifer Swanson said the group decided to hold a competition for the best decorated haystack after being inspired by a similar competition in Maddock.
“We are so excited” said Swanson.
The competition has two categories, one for businesses and one for residents.
“Any company in the city can participate. It can be round bale, square bale, big or small, whatever you want to do with it. There really aren’t any restrictions or anything like that. The more imagination the better” said Swanson.
“Residents can do the same thing – big, small, round, square – there really aren’t any rules for it, just what they want.” She added.
Swanson said anyone in rugby with hay bales and a little creativity is welcome to enter the competition. The competition ends on October 28th.
“We will have two winners” She said. “Businesses and local residents should take photos of their haystacks and decorations and send them to the Rugby Jaycees or post them directly to our Facebook page with the name of the business or local resident and the pictures.
“After that, people can vote for them by giving them likes on our Facebook page. You win by posting the pictures and information and whoever has the most likes will win.” She said.
Swanson said that since this year was the first for the competition, “Maybe we’ll change that next year.”
“Not everyone has Facebook” She added. “If someone doesn’t have Facebook, they can ask someone to post it for them. The winners of the business category and the resident category win a pizza party.
“The owners of the new Baldy’s Pizza – they’re not open yet, but they said they’re taking our orders (and delivering pizza and pop) so we can host pizza parties for the winning company and residents.” She added. “If the winner is a larger company, like the hospital, we give a party to a department.”
Swanson said the Jaycees plan to announce the two winners on Halloween. Members deliver pizza and pop for lunch to the winning company and contact residents to schedule their party.
The Rugby Jaycees have posted voting reminders on other local social media sites such as Rugby Facebook Rummage Sales.
“It’s so much fun to drive around town and see these ideas and all these balls that come up and the creativity behind them.” said Swanson.
“I work at the Dakota Eye Institute and we’re going to do one.” She added.
“With our schedule, we won’t be able to get it ready until the end of next week, so I know there will be more displays to come.” She added.
“Right now I have three residents for sure and I know there will be more.” She added. “And we currently have a total of five or six companies. I know there will be a few more over the next week.”
“So,” she added “Anyone is welcome to enter.”
Visit the Rugby Jaycees Facebook page for more information.