,PHOENIXVILLE -- The Phoenixville Regional Chamber of Commerce and KMS Design Group were the big winners as they tied for first place in this past weekend's BlobFest Façade Contest.

According to Mary Foote, executive director for the Association of the Colonial Theatre (ACT), it was really hard to choose because there were so many great windows.

"They were creative, funny and highly entertaining," said Foote. "I enjoyed watching people stroll down the street and stop to check out the windows and façades. It really became a part of the show for the weekend."

Eight local businesses decorated their storefront windows in a Blob motif in honor of the 1958 classic "The Blob."

Those businesses were A Healthy Choice For Us, USA Kilts, EarthMart, Phoenix Village Art Center, KMS Design Group, Phoenix Karate, Franco Ristorante, and the Phoenixville Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Foote said that all of the participants would receive a free month of advertising with the Colonial Theatre.

Since voting was deadlocked between the Phoenixville Regional Chamber of Commerce and KMS Design Group, it was declared a tie between them. Each business earned one full year of advertising.

Kim Cooley, executive director of the Phoenixville Regional Chamber of Commerce, said it's a good feeling to be tied for first.

"It felt great for about five minutes," said

Cooley. "Then I thought about what we're going to do for next year. We know there will be more people competing next year."

The Chamber office was adorned with a tablecloth hanging out the window. The tablecloth had a spackle-type substance called "Great Stuff" placed upon it, and painted magenta to resemble the Blob. Within the Blob were photos of local people's heads, hands and feet.

To draw attention to the tablecloth, three caricatures of Cooley, Trish Kugler and Karin Williams, dressed as "Blob-busters" in mock firefighting gear, were depicted below it.

"I figured we'd get a Blob and feed it with people who we know," said Cooley. "We decided to decorate the building. It was a piece of cake putting it together. Everything all fell into place."

Over at KMS Design Group, seven mock newspapers featuring various headlines such as "Blob Eats Diner Again!" and "Blob Eats Bridge" were spread about their front windows.

Adam Supplee, the principal landscape architect at KMS Design, said the façade his office came up with was a total team effort.

"We wanted to tie in current events with the Blob," said Supplee. "This was a group effort with all employees, along with my spouse and Julia Swisher's spouse, getting involved.

"We went as far as Julia creating a Blob out of Jell-O for some of the photos. We did all of the printing in-house and we even assisted the Chamber with their façade."

Supplee said the group used the project as a team-building effort.

"We decided that if we placed, we'd get to take August 1 off," he said. "It looks like the hard work paid off."

Ironically enough, one of the headlines read "KMS Wins Façade Contest," which Supplee said was basically foreseeing into the future.

Taking second place was Phoenix Village Art Center, which received six months of free advertising. Their window consists of 32 cutout photos of scared people looking at a painted backdrop of the Colonial Theatre and Blob.

"We're hoping that the exposure will get more people to see our exhibits and visit the center," said owner Kathy Bestwick. "We used a lot of artists, family, students and parents to have their pictures taken for the façade."

Dan McMichael and Carmen Blike, both instructors at the center, took the pictures, said Bestwick, and John Brock was the mastermind behind the three-dimensional design.

"We had a lot of people working on this and it turned out great," she said. "We're pleased with finishing in second place. Hey, at least we placed, and we're happy."

Foote said that she appreciated how the businesses helped make the local landscape more fun.

"We are planning on having this contest again next year," she said.

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