Paint the Town event brings community together


Anthony Hawkins, Reporter (He/Him)

Downtown Brookings is alive with Jackrabbit pride after South Dakota State University students completed the annual Paint the Town event for Hobo Day this past Sunday.

The Paint the Town event allows students to showcase school spirit by painting windows in the Brookings community and took place from Oct. 14-18. Each student was supplied with yellow, blue and white paint to resemble school colors, as well as provided paint brushes and a poster with the organization’s name and number to be posted on.

Kayla Gullickson, Hobo Day committee community outreach coordinator, said the event allows a diverse group of students and organizations to create partnerships with the Brookings community.

“The clubs and orgs have the opportunity to show off their talent and creativity while also showing their SDSU spirit,” she said.

Businesses in the community such as Cottonwood Coffee, Spoke-n-Sport Bikes and the Brookings Register participated in the event by allowing their windows to be painted, and some even donated prizes for the event.

“Student participation in the community is crucial,” William McMacken, a publisher for The Brookings Register, said. “Students can help serve the community of Brookings through community involvement, as well as helping employers fulfill job positions after graduation.”

Other businesses in the area echoed similar sentiments. 

“It’s extremely important. It provides an immense networking opportunity for those who may not have had the chance,” Spoke-n-Sport Bikes employee Angela Spear said. “Becoming aware of your community is good citizenship.” 

Though COVID-19 has made some Hobo Day events difficult, the outdoor nature of Paint the Town made for good student turnout. According to Gullickson, this year’s event had a record number of businesses and student organizations sign up.

Judging will take place on Tuesday Oct. 20, with three contest categories: Most Creative, Best SDSU/Hobo Day Spirit and Best use of the Tagline (Rooted at the Rails). This year’s winners will receive gift cards to restaurants within the community. The winners will be announced after Tuesday’s judging on the SDSU student page