Scarecrows aren’t just for the birds, sometimes they can also be great for community building and marketing a local business.
Uptown Rutland Business Association’s executive director, Laurel D’Andrea, said that’s precisely the point behind URBA’s annual Scarecrow Festival.
The 11th annual festival will be held in October and it will feature events for the entire family, including the pièce de résistance: the scarecrow-building competition. Around 160 scarecrows will be built on-site at Lions Park, 30 of which will be saved for local businesses owners to rep their brands.
D’Andrea said the competition is something fierce. She has seen bakeries use their tasty treats to decorate their scarecrows, while plumbers rigged up pumpkins to look like “plumber’s crack” as their scarecrow was fixing a toilet.
The URBA expects this year to be just as successful as last. They saw more than 5,000 people stroll through the park to admire the creations, peruse the craft market, enjoy some great food from food trucks and take in some entertainment for the strolling buskers.
The event is pretty green, too, she added. Hay purchased to stuff the scarecrows is recycled, clothing for the scarecrows is provided by Rutland thrift stores and it’s a great way to give second-life to old newspapers (for stuffing).
The real question is, will the weather hold out?
D’Andrea said they’ve been lucky thus far, with only one event getting struck by a “freak hail storm that dampened the mood.” But once in 11 years isn’t all that bad.