Kids Get Creative For Decorated Bicycle Contest


This year’s decorated bicycle contest featured stars, stripes and “stuffies.”

While stuffed animals couldn’t be entered as contestants themselves, several accompanied their owners, and added a little pizzazz to the entries.

“I have a dog, because I have a dog,” said 6-year-old Oliver Bark of the small decorative pup he affixed to his bicycle. His real dog, a Labrador mix named George, stayed home for the festivities.

Oliver, whose bicycle also featured multiple American flags and “USA” on the wheels, was awarded second place in the category of Most Patriotic.

For 4-year-old Andrew Cullison, this year marked his first decorated bicycle contest, and his first parade. Along for the ride in his firecracker-themed wagon was his stuffed wiener dog, appropriately named Frank. Andrew (and Frank) took home second place for Most Beautiful.

Four-year-old Ava Paisley couldn’t pick a favorite decoration on her wagon, because she liked all of them. Ava had no intention of riding in the wagon – instead, she planned to walk in the parade, while her stuffed purple Dino enjoyed the ride.

“I have a lot,” said Ava of the patriotic elements of her outfit, which she put together herself. She also dressed Dino up in red, white and blue pipe cleaners.

Ava was awarded first place for Most Patriotic.

Roughly 24 children participated in the annual event, which was sponsored this year by Lean on Dee. While many newcomers were featured in the 2023 event, there were also some familiar faces.

Sisters Gemma and Evie Dornblaser are old pros, having attended and won awards at previous contests. Gemma, 9, had some concerns this year.

“This is a new bike for me, so I’m not sure how this will go,” said Gemma, who ended up with a third-place finish for Most Beautiful.

Her 7-year-old sister, Evie, presented a bicycle basket bursting with patriotic flare, leaving room for her stuffed cat, Chad. Evie and Chad took home the blue ribbon for Most Original.

Returning contestant William Kelly got an upgrade this year — several months past his second birthday, he has now ditched the pushed tricycle of years past, opting to ride one himself. Also new this year was his 9-month-old brother, Cameron.

“I put a reminder in my phone about this, and I still ended up decorating last night,” said William and Cameron’s mom, Allison Kelly.

Cameron’s Captain America-themed stroller won third place for Most Original.

Friends Piper Kruse, 7, and Lola Rice, 8, worked together, incorporating stars, streamers and partial balloon arches shooting from the backs of their bicycles. Piper received second place for Most Original and Lola won first for Most Beautiful.

“It’s a lot of fun to see how excited the kids get,” said Colette Barnes, who has been the volunteer coordinator of the contest for approximately 10 years.


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