KINGSTON -- An epic battle of words is being fought in the city of Kingston, as businesses engage in Sign Wars, a growing trend across the province.

It’s where people post signs, or use their business billboards to send call outs to other businesses in the city, post silly sayings, and poke fun at one another during the lockdown. 

One of those involved in the friendly battle are the owners of Daft Brewing on Princess Street.

"We’re three signs deep and I imagine it’s going to keep going back and forth," laughs co-owner Adam Rondeau in an interview with CTV News Ottawa. 

He says his signs have been getting lots of attention, and even bringing in a new customer or two.

"Even when I was like setting up that sign someone was honking and someone said that they loved it. People stopping to take pictures," says Rondeau of the attention. "So it’s fun to see people get into it."

Kingston sign war

Down the street, the owner of Ok Tires shoots back at his fellow business owners, but Eric Fielding says it’s all in good fun for fellow business owners and customers alike. 

"If you can make someone smile at a time like this, it’s worth it," he says.

Stores, restaurants, schools and even fire departments have all signed up in the region.

Even retirement residences getting in on the fun, placing large signs poking fun at businesses they work closely with. Outside the Kingsdale Chateau a huge sign filling their lawn reads, "Frontenac Hearing Clinic, We Can’t Hear You!"

Nicky Craig with Kingsdale says it’s to make people smile.

"It’s just so nice to just see something, so much fun that's not about COVID-19, not about being in lockdown," she says.

Kingston sign war

This city is just the latest to get in on the trend, which first gained popularity in a small town near Kitchener and spread across the province to cities like Peterborough.

That’s where Friendly Fire took notice and participated first, and thought they could bring it to their Kingston location.

"The whole idea is to try to put a smile on people's faces and try to lighten the mood," says Adam Mulligan. "We’ve got lots of doom and gloom and this was an opportunity to make it a little bit more fun and light hearted." 

At Paulette Auto Sales, it’s back and forth with a local bar and grill means a new form of meeting fellow small business owners.

"It’s nice because we’re getting responses from other dealerships and other businesses that are local and small they say, 'This is great, you guys are doing awesome,'" explains Sales Consultant Steve Lawson.

And there’s no sign of the war being over.

"Gentle chirps back and forth," says Rondeau. "We don’t want to push it too far. But I’m curious how other businesses respond and we’ll have to respond accordingly!"