Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Halloween window decorating contest

I remember when I was a young child, walking down Merchant Street as Halloween neared, and admiring store windows with large painted Halloween scenes on them: pumpkins, ghosts, witches. I liked things that were different from everyday Ambridge, so I thought the paintings were wonderful. 

I knew that the scenes had been painted by older students for a contest, and that I was too young to participate. I thought, "I can't wait until I'm old enough to paint a window too." But by the time I would have been old enough, the Halloween window decorating contest was no longer held.

I seem to remember the painted windows during several Halloween seasons, but so far, all I've found is this photo from the October 22, 1957, Beaver Valley Times.

Photo of Ambridge Junior  High School students preparing pictures for the Halloween window painting contest, Beaver Valley Times, October 22, 1957

The text under the photo says:

KICK OFF HALLOWEEN CONTEST--Three Ambridge Junior High School students--Walter Conte, Mary Simko and Carmel Humbert--are shown preparing pictures similar to the ones they will draw on various merchants' windows during the Halloween window painting contest sponsored by The Beaver Valley TIMES, Daily Citizen and Ambridge Jaycees. Looking on, left to right, are Kenneth Hare and Theodore Homjak, head of the Jaycees' committee in charge of the event. Prizes will be presented the winners.

Was there only one year of Halloween window painting, 1957? If the decorating occurred over a number of years, what were they?

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