Downtown Maryville has launched a downtown storefront decorating contest to showcase school spirit and support incoming Northwest Missouri State University students and their families.

Businesses in the downtown are encouraged to embellish their windows, doorways, sidewalks or other building additions for a chance to win a $250 grand prize.

“Students and their families have a tremendous impact on our community and our organization feels that it is important that they feel welcomed when coming downtown,” said Downtown Maryville Executive Director DeAnn Davison. “We want all Bearcats to be encouraged to enjoy our amenities and we are working to build more connectivity with the university to bring students to the square.”

From now until August 11, downtown businesses can use whatever skills at their disposal to design their storefronts with a “Welcome Back, Bearcats” theme. On Friday, August 12, judges will evaluate all participating businesses and then post photos of participating displays on the Downtown Maryville Facebook and Instagram pages. Residents and visitors will be invited to comment, like and share their favorite displays and total social media engagement will be factored into the final scores. A winner will be announced Friday, August 19, with the winning display receiving $250 toward business advertising of their choice.

Davison hopes that this will be the first of many events that will feature downtown businesses and encourage residents to not only walk around the square but to go inside businesses and see what local shops have to offer.

In addition to the decorating contest, Downtown Maryville is also holding a Bearcat flag fundraiser. The organization will have three options of Bearcat flags available for purchase, with the proceeds going to support the efforts of the revitalization of the square.

“Adding a Bearcat flag to your home or business is a simple and fun way to show your support for the students, faculty, and staff at Northwest,” added Davison.

Flags are available for $35.

To purchase a flag or for any questions about the storefront decorating contest, contact Davison at

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