Looking for a treat without the trick? Well look no further than www.jeffersonpost.com, where The Jefferson Post's latest online contest is up and running.
Just in time for the beginning of the holiday season, the Post and its key advertising sponsors are hosting a virtual costume party and they are inviting everyone to join the merriment.
“It'll be great community fun,” said Ric Woodie, co-owner of Parker Tie Co., which is title sponsor of the online contest. “It's great way to get involved in the community and offer some good, wholesome fun for kids and their parents to participate in.”
Winner of the Virtual Costume Contest will receive a $150 grand prize, a nice chunk of change, Woodie said, for someone to use as they begin their holiday shopping.
That's the treat. Prizes will be awarded in four categories which includes, of course, the overall winner with the best costume. Couple that with the braggin' rights associated with having the best costume in these parts and it's a winning party in which everyone should want to take part.
Winners are chosen by online visitors who will be allowed to cast votes — one per day — for those pictured in their most original, scariest, funniest or cutest costumes. Submissions began on Oct. 20, and continues until Nov. 2. On Nov. 3, voting for the contest will begin and winners will be announced the following week.
“Everyone needs to get ready, find that perfect costume, take a photo and enter this contest,” said Brent Pitts, of downtown West Jefferson's Tis the Season for All Seasons, another sponsor of the contest.
Tis the Season for All Seasons is sponsoring the Cutest Costume category, where a $50 cash prize is being awarded, which is the cash prize for all of the leading vote getters in the individual categories.
While promoting the business through the contest and its myriad advertising opportunities was one reason for his decision to participate, Pitts said her main desire to be involved with the online contest centered around the fun, the start of the most festive times of the year and the community involvement the contest is sure to garner.
“We've always tried to do things that are good for kids, and I saw this as one of those really neat things to do,” Pitts stressed. “This is sure to be great community fun.”
Categories include scariest, most original, cutes, funniest and overall winner, with prizes being awarded to the overall winner and the cutest. Others will get those braggin' rights that are just as important.
Photos can be submitted from now until the day before voting ends, Nov. 3, although all the sponsors, including Vannoy Construction who is sponsoring the most original category, are urging people to begin entering the contest now.
“You want to get those photos uploaded onto the site and start planning how you are going to get those votes,” said Mike Toomey, manager of Bella Ragazza's of Jefferson, the sponsor of the scariest costume category. “I encourage everyone to take part. You might just be the one to win a prize.”
The sponsors stressed the importance of getting in the contest early. “The sooner, the better. It may just give you the edge,” said Toomey.
All the contest sponsors said it is a neat idea and one that should involve the whole family.
“It's going to be a lot of fun. I can't wait to see all the entries,” said Tena Rhinehart, office manager with Dr. Charles Jones M.D., the sponsor of the funniest costume category.
Just like with other Jefferson Post contests, participants — whether entering, voting or viewing — must have a valid email address, which must be listed as they fill out the online form.
To submit, visit www.jeffersonpost.com, click on the Virtual Halloween Contest logo and follow the steps to upload the photo and enter.
All of it is made simple, said Cliff Clark, general manager/editor of The Jefferson Post, to encourage participation.
“We don't want this to be difficult; we want it to be easy and fun, which it should be.”
Clark offered thanks to the advertising sponsors for their participation and belief in the fun and advantages of the online contest, and urged residents to frequent those businesses and offer their thanks as well.
“Without our advertising partners, these contests, simply wouldn't be possible. I hope others will support them the way they support this community and these projects,” Clark said.
The main draw of the contest — other than the obvious costume competition itself — is the opportunity to begin promoting the start of what businesses hope will be a very good holiday sales season.
For many, Rhinehart said, Halloween, even though not recognized by all as a holiday, is the start of what leads into Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and the biggest season of them all, Christmas. And participation in the contest affords all of the sponsors a chance to promote their businesses and all hope the contest will have many, many participants.
“Halloween is a great time of year, and it does start the holiday season.” Woodie said.
All the sponsors said they hoped the contest had a lot of participants and they urged people to get their costumes on, shoot a picture and begin entering.
“We want everyone to have a lot of fun with this,” Clark said.