It's time to grab those crayons, paints and markers, kids. The Lin C. Parker Wrapping Paper Design Contest has begun.
Each year since 2002, the Times Free Press has invited students in grades 1-5 to create a wrapping paper design on an 8-by-10 sheet of plain white paper. The winning entry, as selected by a panel of judges, will then be expanded into a larger newspaper broadsheet, about 22 by 22 inches, and printed on premium paper on the TFP press. Several runner-up designs will be printed on the reverse side. Readers can wrap gifts with that page of original artwork.
The gift wrap will be included in the Sunday, Dec. 8, edition of the newspaper, along with a story about the young artist. The wrapping paper also will be a selection at United Way of Greater Chattanooga gift wrap booths at Hamilton Place mall. Booths will be open to shoppers Dec. 6-8 and Dec. 13-24.
The United Way is a sponsor this year, along with ArtsBuild and Creative Discovery Museum, which will display the winning designs during December. Readers also can view the finalists and vote in a Readers' Choice contest at timesfreepress.com. The deadline for entry is 5 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20.
The design contest was renamed in 2017 in memory of Parker, who founded the contest and was its driving force. Parker, who died in September of that year, was a longtime writer and page designer for the newspaper, and an accomplished artist.
Last year's competition drew more than 500 entries. The winning design was a bright peppermint motif by Anna Shadrick, a 7-year-old second-grader at Oakwood Christian Academy in Chickamauga, Georgia.