Contest to help Oneida residents celebrate spooky season

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ONEIDA — The Oneida community is gearing up for some friendly competition during the holiday season, starting with a return of the Halloween House Decorating Contest.

Last year, Nicole and Rick Rossi organized the inaugural Halloween House Decorating Contest as a way to get the community together and have some fun despite COVID-19 restrictions.

It’s come back again this year and the community is a buzz to make their house a spooky treat, the organizers said.

Nicole Rossi said last year’s turnout was great, with around 27 houses applying. This year, there looks to be so many additional applicants that they may need to place a limit.

“We had so many people talking about the last competition all throughout the year and asked if we were going to do it again,” Nicole said. “And they’re getting competitive with it — but a fun competitive.”

Prizes will be awarded to first, second, and third place and to keep it fresh and entertaining, there will be five judge’s choice awards for the following categories: Spookiest, Most Creative, Cutest, and Classiest. A framed certificate will be awarded to each. If a competitor places in the top three, they are not eligible for a judge’s choice award.

Rossi said she’s seen a lot of good competitors and some residents getting very creative.

“We had a couple reach out, letting us know they are going for a theme and we’ve had a few neighbors team up so they can combine their yards together to display,” she said. “It seems like this kind of contest is really bringing people together.”

And come the Christmas season, there will be a Christmas House Decorating Contest Oneida residents can take part in as well.

Prizes are yet to be announced, but the following businesses have donated towards prizes: Hipster Cafe, Coneheads, Nye Automotive, The Blend, and the Oneida Barbershop, according to the event organizer.

Among contest rules: Entrants must live in the city of Oneida, and only the exterior of the home will be judged.

Any residence in the city is eligible to enter, she said. To enter the contest, residents can email oneidatimeforchange@gmail.com. The final day to submit an application is Monday, Oct. 25, by 10 p.m. No late entries will be allowed.

For more information or updates on the contest, visit the Oneida for Change Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/272752653934622 or email oneidatimeforchange@gmail.com

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