In leading up to Pitt State’s opening home football game, the city of Pittsburg and Pitt State are celebrating with Paint the Town Red. This week, community members and students, staff and faculty, alike will paint the town red and gold to this year’s theme “Gus’ Excellent Adventure.”
Paint the Town Red is a celebration held in collaboration between the Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce and the PSU Alumni and Constituent Relations office. This is the 14th year for Paint the Town Red as it annually leads up to the first football game of the year.
“Well, this has been going on for over a decade and it’s really a join partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and the entire city and community usually gets involved and it’s just kind of a fun way to kick off the opening home football game in a visual way,” Bartlow said.
Paint the Town Red is a way to further connect the university with its surrounding community and show support. Paint the Town Red will end with a celebration in downtown Pittsburg Friday evening.
“Well, hopefully it means a good football season for the community here in Pittsburg,” said Julie Reams, Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce director of special events and membership. “It’s a great way that we can offer community members to come out, especially to the downtown celebration and see some of the chamber members, play games with the kids, there’s a little kids fun run that’s a block-long that they can run with Gus. But it’s a great way to bring the community together to celebrate this once a year event.”
Bartlow said that since its beginning, Paint the Town Red has grown into a larger celebration.
“I think really the background of it is that, I think, the Chamber of Commerce and the City of Pittsburg wanted to show their support for Pittsburg State University and that for the football team for that opening home game, so I think that’s probably what it came out of,” Bartlow said. “I think it’s really developed into probably something bigger, though, which is just kind of a demonstration of the really close-knit relationship that the university has with the community as a whole in supporting each other. So basically we have a contest where businesses can decorate their offices and their buildings to help promote whatever the theme might be for that particular year. And so, you know, I think a big part of it is when you’re driving through town you just seen red and gold everywhere and that way it’s pretty easy to visually see how much the local business and community support the university and its football team.”
Not only is Paint the Town Red about decorating in Pitt State colors and receiving awards, it is also a means of giving back to the community.
“We have a decorating contest and that is broken up in three different divisions and this year we have 31 different business that participate in this decorating contest and they will be judged off of the theme, which is ‘Gus’ Excellent Adventure’ and prizes will be given and awarded before the football game Saturday evening,” Reams said. “With the 31 they do pay an entry fee for that and part of that entry fee does go back into Paint the Town scholarships that are awarded in February.”
Paint the Town Red also consists of an on-campus decorating competition along with the community-wide competition, as well as a 5K run Saturday morning.
“… So there’s an on-campus decorating contest that will be judged (Thursday), so there’s a lot going on with fraternities, sororities, different departments there at the college, and whoever wins those prizes that will be announced Friday night at the pep rally.”
Reams encourages anyone to attend the pep rally Friday night, as she said to “come out and support the school.”
“There will be a community-wide pep rally downtown at 4th and Broadway on Friday evening between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.,” Bartlow said. “So there will be a lot of food and goodies and the marching band and the football team, etcetera, etcetera.”