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Local Businesses Battle It Out In Epic Sign War, Hopeful It Moves Across Canada

KAWARTHA LAKES – To fight against the pandemic blues, many local businesses have gone to battle in an epic sign war, providing friendly competition and laughter while bringing unity when it is needed now more than ever.

According to Anden Kitchen and Bath Centre, 1985 Lansdowne St W, Peterborough, Owner, Vance Robbins, his team started the comical rivalry after he was approached by Kirtus Evoy, Publisher of PTBO Canada, to start the process. Evoy started the initiative to bring community cheer.

“Literally, to show community support, put smiles on people’s faces and see the laughter that comes with raising awareness around the city,” said Robbins. “We are all in this together, it is so nice to see everyone included. A lot of companies are competitors, but we are having fun together, at the end of the day, it’s about making people laugh.”

The battle began when Anden Kitchen and Bath provoked Friendly Fires, 981 Highway 7 East, with a sign that read “Hey Friendly Fires, do you want to start a sign war? Merretts (Home hardware), you are next!!!”

Within a day, both businesses accepted the challenge.

Friendly Fires retaliates.
Courtesy – Vance Robbins
Merrett Home Hardware fights back.
Courtesy – Vance Robbins

“Many, many more companies have jumped in since then, it’s great to see community support towards it and to see reaction from the people has been incredible,” said Robbins.

And even though the sign war only began on Monday, the trend has taken off with over 20 businesses preparing for combat, including the Peterborough Police Department who taunted Merrett Home Hardware; “We got a complaint about people making donuts in your parking lot…we’ll take a dozen #PTBOSIGNWARS.”

Meanwhile, Anden Kitchen and Bath joined in for more fun, “Hey Merretts we heard you have soft wood.”

According to Lindsay Wilson, Administrative and Marketing Coordinator for Kawartha Construction, they jumped on board immediately as it was a fun opportunity.

“We saw it on Facebook, we have some construction companies with road-side signs and we’re on a busy road, it’s a way to put a smile on faces and fire up some friendly sign competition,” she said.

Wilson and Robbins both noted that the feedback and popularity of the initiative has been exciting.

“We have had lots of reaction and shares on Facebook and Instagram,” said Wilson. “I actually took a drive through Lakefield, to challenge on a sign war and call other companies on, it’s a fun way to unify, create a spirit of friendly competition, reach out to other companies and put a smile on people’s faces as they drive by, to spread a little humour.”

Trans Canada NISSAN also came to play, their sign read, “Sorry Toyota, we won’t follow too close we might catch the Corolla Virus!”

And while current participants are local, Robbins is hopeful that the sign war will become a nation-wide trend, spreading laughter, joy and harmony across Canada.

“The ultimate goal with all this is not only to reach our community but to get to other cities as well, we want it to go country wide, get other cities into it, get involved and encourage community spirit in all communities,” he said.

Even Peterborough Police got in on the action.

Courtesy – PTBO Police

Robbins encourages all businesses to get involved as it will continue to spread cheer, create smiles and give company moral a spike when it is needed most.

“It has just taken off, the reaction is so positive, so many people are commenting, it’s been great, it’s been wonderful,” he said. “I think the big thing, we really notice, so much negative information and comments on everything, on social media, its overwhelming. This just shows that when done in the right format, we can all change our minds and be positive and really embrace something and humour, this comes at a perfect time when there are a lot of negative things going on in the world.”

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Jennifer Walker
Jennifer Walker
Jennifer decided to study journalism after having a life long passion for writing. She began her career as a reporter for the Uxbridge Times Journal and moved on to freelance work for various publications after her and her husband welcomed their daughters. She has been published in various Durham Region newspapers, the Durham Parent Magazine as well as Equine Wellness. Jennifer continues to follow her dreams as a wife, mother and journalist and is so excited to join the team at Kawartha411.

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