Ornament contest will deck Kentucky Museum’s halls

Rachael Walters

As Christmas approaches, the Kentucky Museum invites all to begin spreading the season’s cheer with their annual Holiday Ornament Contest.

The event will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Kentucky Room of the Kentucky Museum. WKU organizations will decorate Christmas trees inspired by their organization or another chosen theme.

Middlesboro senior and Phi Sigma Pi vice president Kevin Smith said, “The ornament contest is a way for the brothers to get together, have fun and celebrate the season of Christmas.”

Christy Spurlock, assistant professor and education curator of the Kentucky Museum, said when the 33 organizations arrive, they’re assigned six foot pre-lit artificial trees, which will already be set up alphabetically around the room. They will have a half hour to finish decorating before the surprise WKU celebrity judges determine the winners. Judging will be from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Winners will be announced that night, and all participants will receive a certificate of appreciation just for participating.

“Some of the clubs approach it as a casual bonding activity, and we have some clubs that seriously come to win,” Spurlock said.

Prizes include first through third place overall, most original tree, most reflective of club’s spirit, Big Red’s favorite and the ugliest Christmas sweater.

Bowling Green sophomore and WKU Store team member John Haley said the WKU Store plans to win the contest “because we are creative types, and we are beast like that.”

Approximately 2,000 people will see the Christmas trees, including those attending Christmas in Kentucky on Dec. 3. The trees will be available to view until Jan. 3.

“We are always amazed at their creativity,” Spurlock said. “You know, what the clubs come up with; their trees really reflect the mission of the clubs.”

The contest began with fourth and fifth graders. The museum would take supplies to various schools and later pick up completed ornaments. However, three years ago the museum decided to instead invite WKU organizations to participate. During that first year, the museum gave competitors all the same supplies to decorate their trees.

Last year they decided to allow students to have complete control over their trees. They also began the Ugly Holiday Sweater contest, awarding the winner with a large plaque. Spurlock said this new edition is a “real hoot.”

The trees will line the Kentucky room; there will be light refreshments in the center, and supplies to make ornaments. Everyone is welcome to come see all the trees, enjoy the refreshments and the Christmas spirit, and wear their ugly sweaters. Public admissions will be free.

“It really gets people in the holiday spirit,” Spurlock said.