Painting the Uptown red

For anyone wondering what the deal is with all the red décor in many of Uptown’s businesses this month, it’s no coincidence and it wasn’t for Valentine’s Day.   

The Uptown Association teamed up with the American Heart Association (AHA) and retail management students from the University of Minnesota to decorate storefronts in red to create awareness of heart disease.

Sixteen teams of students decorated just as many businesses, each with a different design.

Maude Lovelle, executive director of the Uptown Association, said this is the first time the organization has done the event, called Paint the Uptown Red.

The association partnered with the AHA for last year’s Uptown Art Fair and decided then to work together on another project, Lovelle said.

The event has been well received, she said, and it will probably happen again next year.

The displays will be up through the end of February, during which time community members can vote for their favorite design.

Ballots are available at the decorated stores or online at www.uptownminneapolis.com. Voters who cast a ballot at businesses will receive a free-health screening coupon.   

Votes will be counted in early March and winning businesses will receive prizes, though every participant will get something, Lovelle said.

Judges from Macy’s and Healtheast will take part in deciding the winners.