PITTSBURG — For those people who live elsewhere in the country they might assume an entire town turning red and gold heralds fall coming and leaves turning color. Not in Pittsburg, and it’s sister communities.

No, it means Pittsburg State University pride is about to be on full show with the arrival of the annual Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce Paint the Town Red event.

The yearly event hosted by the chamber encourages businesses to dress up their exteriors in red and gold. They also have a yearly theme, which for 2018 is Gus’ Get Down. On Thursday judges will tour the area businesses and choose winners.

The Special Events Director for the chamber, Dani Gosch, said Paint the Town Red is important for them as it allows the chamber to help the students feel more at home with the local businesses.

“We think it’s important to be that introduction between the students and the business community,” Gosch said.

The event also whips up friendly competition. The City of Frontenac won the Community Favorite Award in 2017, and said lightheartedly they are not considering defeat.

“We don’t want to have it back, we EXPECT to have it back,” Frontenac City Manager Brad Reams said.

The importance of the contest however is not lost in competition Reams said.

“It’s important for us to participate because we have a lot of Gorillas in our community,” said Reams. “Paint the Town Red is a great way to show our support to the college, and the alumni who are our taxpayers.”

The friendly competition between businesses also has an added side effect. More work for the local artists helping them create the dancing Gus experiences outside their businesses. One such artist, Kelci Cooper, was painting a disco Gus scene on the windows of Pittsburg business, Possibility Junction.

“I love being a part of Paint the Town Red,” Cooper said. “Not only is it a wonderful way to show our PSU pride around town, but it allows local businesses and artists to work together.

“That is always a good thing for the community, and fun to be a part of.”

Paint the Town Red will continue through the week with a community party downtown at 6 p.m. on Friday and a 5K Run starting at Axe Library on Saturday. Registration for the run is 7:30 a.m.

More information on Paint the Town Red or the Pittsburg Chamber of Commerce can be found on their website www.pittsburgareachamber.com