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Scarecrow Contest returns to Depot District

Drew Butler
drew.butler@ardmoreite.com
The residents at Canoe Brook Assisted Living created last year's winning scarecrow. Their scarecrow was meant to represent a vibrant — if somewhat eccentric — senior citizen.

The days getting shorter and the temperatures getting cooler can only mean one thing: fall is almost upon us. To help get everyone into the autumnal spirit, Create Ardmore will soon be bringing back the scarecrow contest to the Depot District.

From Saturday, Oct. 3 through Sunday, Nov. 15, a slew of scarecrows will be adorning the benches and street posts of downtown Ardmore. Maria Wilkinson, a Create Ardmore board member, said the ultimate goal is to have scarecrows all the way from Central Park down to the HFV Wilson Community Center.

Like last year, there will be three categories for the scarecrows: traditional, fantastical and business. The traditional scarecrows are of the sort one might find in “The Wizard of Oz” or a farmers field and will be composed of materials like cast-off clothing, straw and burlap. The fantastical scarecrows can depict fairy-tale characters, celebrities, and a wide range of other figures, and the use of bright colors and unique materials is strongly encouraged. Finally the business category will reflect a business’ products or services. For example a restaurant could create a scarecrow made out of pots and pans and wearing a chef’s hat.

Wilkinson said three teams of scarecrow experts — members of the Ardmore Beautification Council, the Ardmore Chamber of Commerce, and the Ardmore City Commissioners — will each select a winner and a runner-up in one of the three categories. Winners in each category will receive $500 “scarecrow dollars” and the runners up will each get $100 scarecrow dollars.

“Last year we had a $500 grand prize, and different small businesses donated prizes for each of the categories,” Wilkinson said. “As we were looking at it this year, we realized there is not one small business we would ask to go donate anything because times are so tough right now. So that got us to thinking about changing the contest around a little bit so that we could support business.”

With this new goal in mind, the Ardmore Beautification Council, the chamber and several local banks came together and increased the amount of cash available for the winners. The chamber will then issue the scarecrow cash to the winners, and this cash can be spent at any business that participated in the contest.

“This is a great way to get participation from businesses up because it will make them eligible for the winning scarecrow cash to be spent at their business,” Wilkinson said. “So it’s a nice loop of supporting our local business and getting our downtown decorated.”

In addition to all of the winners, any scarecrow built by a child or group of children will receive a prize package from The Clubhouse that includes a round of miniature golf along with money that can be spent for food or arcade games.

Wilkinson said there were 24 entries in the contest last year, and several people have already submitted entries for this year. The entry form can be found on Create Ardmore’s Facebook page, and the completed entry forms can be emailed to createardmore@gmail.com or delivered in person to Antiques, Etc. or Maria’s Garden.

The deadline to enter is Sept. 30 and Wilkinson urged everyone participating to apply as soon as possible. Contestants will be responsible for constructing and maintaining their scarecrow for the duration of the contest as well as removing their entry once the contest ends.