- Plan a kick-off breakfast, luncheon or dinner. Plan the menu to include red foods like red berry pancake syrup or spaghetti. Include community and civic leaders.
- Have an Opening Ceremony for Red Ribbon Week at your Courthouse or City Hall.
- Sponsor a parade as a kick off for Red Ribbon Week. Have law enforcement vehicles including a fire engine, police car and ambulance turn on their flashing red lights in honor of Red Ribbon Week using the slogan “Lights on for Red Ribbon Week.”
- Generate media attention – PSA, press release, kick-off events, press conference, etc.
- Get local politicians to issue proclamations supporting Red Ribbon Week and prevention efforts.
- Sponsor a luncheon and honor various people throughout the community for their outstanding work and support of youth and healthy lifestyles.
- Display drug-free posters created by youth.
- Tie red ribbons around trees, flagpoles, or street light poles in the city, business community, or city park using red plastic tablecloths cut in strips or larger red ribbon or red highway flagging tape. (Be sure to get permission from the city, owners, or park board.)
- Decorate bags with red ribbons and prevention messages for use in local stores during Red Ribbon Week.
- Weave plastic red ribbon or crepe paper through chain link fences.
- Coordinate Red Ribbon Week activities with crime prevention officers. Invite someone from law enforcement to give a drug and alcohol presentation. If they have a drug-sniffing dog, ask them to give a demonstration. Remember – October is National Crime Prevention month.
- Have children wear their red ribbons on their Halloween costumes and say “Boo To Drugs” when trick-or-treating.
- Sponsor a non-alcoholic mixer, serving hot dogs to family members wearing red ribbons or sponsor a sobriety dance for teens.
- Ask the Chamber of Commerce to issue a challenge to businesses to decorate for Red Ribbon Week. It could include a Storefront / Doorfront Decorating Contest or a Red All Over Day.
- Place a Red Ribbon Week banner on Main Street.
- Ask your local newspaper to publish a banner or page with a drug free message in red for Red Ribbon Week. Ask if they will create a special supplement or section for Red Ribbon Week. This might include information on how to host safe parties for youth, facts about different drugs (including tobacco and alcohol), scheduling for the week and locally written articles and testimony.
- Sponsor athletic events such as a walk-a-thon (“Walk Out On Drugs”), fun-run (“Red Ribbon Run for Fun”), slam dunk / shooting contest (“Put the Slam on Drugs”), etc. as a healthier life activity.
- Sponsor a “Say Boo To Drugs” carnival at the end of Red Ribbon Week.
- Have local youth groups like 4-H, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, etc., make large red ribbons, posters or banners to hang at City Hall, schools, and local businesses.
- Include information about Red Ribbon Week in school and church newsletters one month before the awareness week.
- Sponsor a “Black Tie” event to raise money for drug-free community / youth organization. Recruit leaders in the community as waiters.
- Use a “Rockin’ for Red Ribbon” theme to sponsor teen dances or a rocking chair marathon.
At the end of the week …
- Send thank-you notes / letters to everyone who helped make your Red Ribbon Week a success.
- Print a thank-you in the newspaper and list the names of those who helped to make Red Ribbon Week a success.
- Publish the names of contest winners as well as the winning essays, poems, etc., in the local newspaper.
- Recognize local business and service organizations that support your efforts in prevention and promoting Red Ribbon Week celebrations.
Activities for Businesses
- Have employees wear, display, and handout red ribbons.
- Include stuffers on Red Ribbon Week in paychecks, billing statements, and other mailings.
- Give a discount, small prizes, or free merchandise to people wearing red ribbons during Red Ribbon Week.
- Adopt a school / classroom or sponsor a community / school Red Ribbon Week event.
- Provide T-shirts or hats for students who participate in Red Ribbon activities. Offer incentives for student / employee / school participation.
- Car dealers could move all the red cars to the front and tie red ribbons on all car antennas in their lots.
- Display drug free messages on your marquee or in your windows for the week.
- Sponsor a Red Ribbon Week activity – such as a coloring contest, fun run, bike-a-thon, or essay contest.