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Welcome back to FCT coloring contest

Starting off here is going to seem like a strange tangent, but stay with me.

At the Franklin County Times, we write our news articles following “AP style” rules. Many publications follow these rules, which include directives for things like how to abbreviate military titles, when to use written out numbers and when to use figures, when to use certain capitalization and punctuation – and on and on.

One phrase that AP style forbids is “first annual.” If it’s the first time something has happened, you can’t call it annual – because annual means happening every year, and this is only the first time. It can’t “officially” be an annual event until its being held the second year.

It’s a tiny, nitpicky thing. Most AP style rules are.

With all that being the case, it give me extra excitement to get to write about our ANNUAL coloring contest – now in its second year.

One of the best parts of the holiday season is the different traditions we observe. There’s something comforting about knowing you’ll have the same things to look forward to year after year – you’ll visit the same people, gather around the same meal, enjoy the same series of events.

Now one of those events, for me, is the FCT’s coloring contest.

We launched it in 2020, when holiday traditions were taking a back seat to COVID-19 precautions. Most everything we usually enjoyed was cancelled, from Christmas parades to school performances and more.

I don’t know about you, but for me, all those cancellations were putting a real damper on the holiday season. Introducing something new was a way to bring a little cheer back into the season.

I’m so glad it didn’t turn out to be a one-hit wonder.

Now, we offer something just for the kids each week of the year with our A to Z Kids page, where our littlest readers can learn facts and enjoy puzzles and games around a different topic in each issue.

But the holiday coloring contest page brings something special on the scene.

We know from experience that Franklin County kids love a good contest. You can see it in the strong participation in long-running events like the Watermelon Festival contests or those hosted annually by the fire department and the Book Lovers Study Club.

This past week was the first for this year’s coloring page, and there’s a new coloring page in this week’s paper, on A8. There will be one next week and the week after, too!

Children can color and send in an entry each week, and we can’t wait to announce the winners – and their PRIZES!

A whole slate of sponsors have helped us make this possible for the community this year, and they have our gratitude. We hope you will show them your thanks, too, by patronizing their businesses this season.

Be sure your child, grandchild, kid brother or young neighbor checks out the coloring page each week. Have multiple “colorers” in your household? We have plenty of extra copies of the paper at our office on Highway 43 as well as in paper boxes throughout the county. There’s no purchase necessary for children to enter our contest, and you can find all the other rules on the contest page.

Let’s get coloring!