Just as adults like to show off their fancy cars, children love to show off their bicycles. Every year, Allan’s Home Hardware Building Centre in Cochrane, Ontario, gives them an opportunity to do that. The company’s Annual Bike Decorating Contest can attract as many as 45 local children who trim out their bicycles in hopes of a first-place prize.
For the past 10 years, the store has hosted a customer appreciation barbecue, but the event was mostly for their contractor customers, says Nicole Brazeau, store manager. She and the staff wanted a way to incorporate more children into the event, and the bike decorating contest was the answer.
Staff members judge each entry and pick a winner from each age group, but all of the children get a small prize for participating.
“Children get creative with their bikes,” says Brazeau. “Some of them even wear costumes to complement the way their bike is decorated. They all love it.”
In addition to serving food, Brazeau has brought in a balloon artist and a face painter to entertain the crowd. The weekend also corresponds with a festival in town, which helps the event build momentum. The event still focuses on customer appreciation, but now it is geared toward the entire family.
“We have a lot of contractor customers, and it’s our way of thanking them for their business. It’s been a great way to draw people to the store.”