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Norman celebrates National Park, Recreation Month with creative mask competition

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Norman Parks and Recreation announced its mask contest July 25, which will last until 11:59 p.m. July 31 as part of National Park and Recreation Month, the department said on its Facebook page. Residents can participate by posting a picture of themselves wearing a mask with the hashtag #maskupnorman.

According to the National Recreation and Park Association, Park and Recreation Month is when parks and recreation officials recognize the field as a vital necessity by sharing how park and recreation professionals are frontline staff, and confront pressing health, environmental and social challenges.

Jason Olsen, the Norman recreation superintendent, said the contest judges are looking for unique facial coverings.

“It’s a pretty simple contest,” Olsen said. “We like to see people’s creativity. We just want to see artistic, cool-looking masks that are unique.”

Olsen outlined what participants can look forward to if they are one of the five winners, to be announced Aug. 3.

“We’re not just going to pick one,” Olsen said. “We’ll pick a lot of creative people and give them some gift certificates to local restaurants.”

Olsen also said the organization will be making several Facebook posts in the following days, and people can submit their photos through social media or by email.

Olsen said Norman Parks and Recreation chose to give away gift certificates to restaurants for the extra impact it provides.

“We’re kind of knocking out two birds with one stone,” Olsen said. “We're getting people to wear masks, and we’re also helping out the local restaurants.”

Christian Hans is a journalism junior at OU and news reporter for The Daily.

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