EAST TAWAS – In what began on Nov. 1, marking the start of the 2023 Perchville USA celebrations, the Paint a Perch Contest has now commenced.
Those from the Tawas Area Chamber of Commerce (TACC) say that perch cutouts are available at the Tawas Bay Art Gallery and can be decorated there on-site, or picked up to be painted at home. Each fish completed and returned to the gallery by Jan. 22, 2023, will then be entered into the contest.
The fun, free-of-charge challenge is open to all, with prizes awarded to the winners in the age groups of 5 and under, 6-11, 12-17, 18-64 and 65 and older.
The fish will be on display and voting for the best creations will take place at both the Perchville Coronation Breakfast and the Royal Feast, slated for Jan. 28 and Feb. 2, 2023, respectively.
Contest winners will also be announced at the Royal Feast, after which their painted perch will be showcased during the Family Expo of the upcoming festival.
For those looking to give the contest a go, the Tawas Bay Art Gallery will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays during the months of November and December. Come January, gallery hours will be 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Sundays.
For further details about the Paint a Perch Contest, art gallery representatives can be reached by calling 989-362-5613. TACC is also requesting that participants contact those at the gallery regarding any changes in holiday hours.
Perchville USA will soon enter its 73rd run and, following the Coronation Breakfast, the winter festival itself will go on Thursday through Sunday, Feb. 2-5, 2023.
Along with TACC, which also sponsors the annual affair, local resident Jerry Malone will again help coordinate the festival.
As previously reported, Malone said that the Paint a Perch Contest hadn’t been held during Perchville for a number of years, but that organizers wanted to bring it back and give it a try in 2022.
Surpassing expectations, all 130 of the wooden fish cutouts available last year were claimed and then submitted by competitors. The turnout and the positive feedback from participants and admirers alike, cemented plans for the contest to return as part of the Perchville 2023 activity lineup.
As shared by TACC Executive Director Samantha Duvall, the community really enjoyed taking part in the event – for which the painting/decorating period was open for about three weeks that January. So, organizers wanted to make things available even earlier for this next contest.
Also being sought by TACC ahead of the 73rd annual festival, are Perchville Royalty nominations, plus booth vendors for the Family Expo.
To nominate a Perchville King and/or Queen who demonstrates generosity in the Tawas community through outstanding volunteerism and leadership, forms are available in the TACC office at 228 Newman St. in East Tawas, by e-mailing Duvall at email@example.com or by calling the chamber at 989-362-8643.
For the family expo portion of the festival on Feb. 4, 2023, vendors are being asked to decorate a booth, host a game and offer prizes for children. TACC representatives have stated that this is not only a great way to advertise a business, but to also get involved in a great community tradition.
Anyone who is interested may e-mail coordinator Christina Aller, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For updates on the festival, as they become available, follow the TACC Facebook page or Perchville Facebook page. Information can also be found on the TACC website, at www.tawas.com.