Centennial Squirrel Decorating Contest a big success

Tyler Norris

Students of the School of Music painted and created a contest entry titled the Maestro Hugh A. Squirrel and the Top Tail Ensemble for the Centennial Squirrel Decorating Contest during Saturday’s tailgating. The contest has been developing for two years an

Credit: DKS Editors

The Hugh A. Glauser School of Music triumphed over the Centennial Squirrel Decorating Contest on Saturday in Tailgate Alley. “Maestro Hugh A. Squirrel & the Top Tail Ensemble” included one 30-inch squirrel directing a series of 8-inch squirrel musicians that sat on four levels of wooden risers. The statue took Best of Show as well as first place in the student groups category.

Students and community members voted on a total of 34 squirrel statues. Statues were created in eight-inch tall models and 30-inch tall models.

Each size of the statue was divided into three categories. The eight-inch statues were decorated by student groups, departments or schools and individual artists. The 30-inch models were divided by department or school, student groups and businesses and organizations.

There were 23 competitors among the three categories of 30-inch squirrels.

The 30-inch winner in the businesses and organizations category was a green-skinned, yellow-eyed “Squirrelasaurus Rex” created by the Black Squirrel Gallery.

Competition was not as stiff in judging for the smaller squirrels. There were 11 entries among the 3 categories.

Students from the School of Library and Information Science won the 8-inch student groups category with “The Tree of Knowledge”. Dozens of miniature books were scattered at the base of a model tree that towered more than two feet over the squirrel.

Other winners included entries by May 4 Task Force, Liquid Crystal Institute and Ray’s Place.

“I think it’s a good town (and) gown event because we have businesses that have also bought them,” said Patricia Nash, one of the co-chairs for the event. “They’re going to display them down in their businesses.”

Nash hopes the squirrels will have a long legacy in Kent. The idea and creation of the squirrels is as personal to Kent State as the black squirrel itself.

The idea for the contest came from a Centennial Celebration Committee meeting in 2007. The committee passed the idea to Kamal Bichara, director of engineering technology at the Kent State Tuscarawas Camus, who asked his students to create the design for the statues.

“We are hoping to make calendars and maybe postcards and things like that out of the winners,” said Nash. “We would love to have a Centennial Squirrel Scholarship.”

The statues are a way to remind Kent State of the last 100 years and the history it’s yet to make, according to a Centennial Celebration Committee banner.

Contact on-campus entertainment reporter Tyler Norris at [email protected].