Scarecrow festival looking for more contestants

‘We line Park Avenue with 200 hay bales and every lamp and light post is decorated. It’s going to be like going to the cider mill, but it doesn’t cost as much.’
—Amy Knowles
event coordinator

By CHRIS JACKETT
Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK – The city’s third annual Scarecrow Decorating Contest and Fall Festival is just around the corner.

The event is scheduled to take place from noon to 6 p.m. Oct. 10, rain or shine, according to Amy Knowles, event coordinator for Allen Park Elks Lodge 2194. The festival will be held along Park Avenue between Philomone and White streets, as well as within the lodge at 6605 Park Ave.

“We line Park Avenue with 200 hay bales and every lamp and light post” is decorated, Knowles said. “It’s going to be like going to the cider mill, but it doesn’t cost as much.”

There will be cider, doughnuts, caramel apples, hot dogs and more food for visitors to enjoy. Apple pie and soup will be available as part of separate cooking contests.

“They donate a crock pot of soup (that is put) in the Elks Lodge and served to guests,” Knowles said. She expects about 25 pots of soup and about nine pies for the two contests, both of which have specific rules listed on the entry forms.

“All entry forms are available at City Hall, the (Allen Park) Community Center or at the Elks Lodge,” Knowles said.

There is also a tractor-judging contest (similar to a car show) and a dog costume contest.

Entry fees for the various contests range from none to $5. Prizes are awarded, and in some cases include cash. The scarecrow-decorating contest is the highest entry fee at $10, but gives people a chance to win the $250 grand prize.

“The festival itself started off with the scarecrow-decorating contest,” Knowles said. “The scarecrows are brought down the day before the festival, and we strap them to the lamp posts.”

Knowles said 32 scarecrows were entered last year and 25 in 2008. She hopes for an even bigger turnout this year from area residents and businesses, but still is looking for more entries. Patrons vote for the winner by dropping a purchased ticket into bags next to their favorite scarecrow.

“When they purchase their voting ticket, their name goes into a big bowl, and we have several busi-nesses that donated prizes,” Knowles said.

Additional activities include a free petting farm, $1 pony rides, Curlie’s Face Art painting and a 100-basketball giveaway to the first 100 children who stop by. Allen Park Animal Shelter representatives also will be there with animals available for adoption.

Entertainment includes a performance by Toledo-based rockabilly band Kentucky Chrome.

The street will be lined with about 20 picnic tables, Knowles said, allowing festivalgoers to sit down and enjoy the atmosphere.

Contact Knowles at (313) 671-6667 for information on entering one of the many contests. The deadline for the scarecrow-decorating contest is tomorrow, but late entries will be accepted by phone, she said. The other contest deadlines are closer to or on the day of the festival.

(Contact Chris Jackett at cjackett@bewickpublications.com)

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