Halloween Hay Bale Decorating Contest

The NEW Zoo is excited to announce a Halloween Hay Bale Decorating Contest this year, sponsored by R-Tek Safety Solutions!  The hay bale scenes will be used to decorate the NEW Zoo for our annual Zoo Boo Halloween event. There is no entry fee, and participants will receive tickets to attend Zoo Boo in exchange for providing the decoration. Officials Rules are posted below.

Halloween Hay Bale Decorating Contest Official Rules

Sponsored by: R-Tek Safety Solutions 


  1. Who may enter?

Anyone! Organized groups (like 4-H, FFA groups, schools, church groups) farms, businesses and/or individuals. You name it!

  1. Registration/Entry Deadline – September 27, 2019

Complete and return registration form along with a sketch of your bale display/design.  Entry limited to the first 25 entrants meeting approved design specifications.  Selected entrants will be notified by phone or email. ENTER EARLY!

  1. Decoration Information

You must provide your own hay bales and decorating supplies. Bales must be decorated with good, clean, family-fun themes only. No vulgar or suggestive decorations allowed. Bales can be painted. No paint allowed on grass or asphalt. No hazardous materials or commercial or political party signs allowed.

Please be aware that we have peacocks roaming the Zoo grounds and that you should not use extremely small, ingestible items as decoration that could be harmful to the birds.

Decorations should be wind and waterproof. Bales can be placed on their side or standing on end. You are limited to up to 3 round bales (or 3 giant square bales) and/or 16 small square bales. Display must fit into a single 12 x 12 foot space.

If there are 2 like designs, we will accept the first one who applied. The second entry will be notified and be given an opportunity to create a different look.

  1. Hay Bale & Decoration Time Information

You must provide transportation of the bale(s) to the Zoo*. Hay bale decorations must be completed by 4:00pm on October 10, 2019.  Once your bales are delivered to the Zoo you may decorate at the Zoo during regular Zoo hours (9:00am-4:00pm) between October 1 & October 10 OR you may decorate the bale(s) at another location and bring them to the Zoo and complete your set up no later than 4:00pm on October 10, 2019.

Decorating/set up can take place during regular Zoo hours between October 1 and October 10 (9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.).

*We will unload large round and large square bale(s) for you upon arrival at the Zoo provided you have scheduled a drop-off time with us. We have limited staff that are trained on operating our skid steer and untrained personnel, as well as non-Zoo personnel, are not allowed to operate it.

  1. Judging

Judging will take place in person at the Zoo. Each person who comes into the Zoo between Friday, October 11 & Saturday, October 26 will be given tickets to vote and can place their tickets in any voting bins placed at the bale displays. Tickets will be counted between October 27 & October 28 with winners to be announced on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the Zoo’s website on Wednesday, October 30. Winners will also be notified by phone or email.

Photographs of hay bale decorations will be used by the Zoo for promotional purposes without giving credit to the creators in order to keep voting based on creativity rather than the knowledge of who created it. You may, however, use your creativity and resources to promote your own hay bale display as you wish.

  1. Removal of Display

No hay bale decorations may be removed until Saturday, November 2, 2019 starting at 9:00am.  You can remove your hay bale display by scheduling a date time with Patricia Jelen. (Time will be subject to Zoo staff availability if a forklift is needed to transfer bales to your truck or trailer).  Display can be removed by appointment on or after Saturday, November 2, 2019 and must be removed before Monday, November 18. Any display left after Monday, November 18 will be removed and discarded by Zoo staff.

  1. Winner Announced – Wednesday, October 30, 2019.
  2. Prizes: 1st place $300, 2nd place $200, 3rd place $100. 

Upon completion of hay bale decorating, entrant will receive 10 free 2019 North Shore Bank Zoo Boo tickets to use as you wish (tickets provided as ONE SET of 10 per entry; not one set per person involved in creating the entry). 

To enter, complete the form below:

Hay Bale Contest Entry Form



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