DANVILLE — For the sixth consecutive year, Danville’s Courthouse Square will be lined with the display of handcrafted scarecrows created by businesses and people from in and outside of Danville.
Each year the scarecrows appear the first Saturday in October and then remain on display for the entire month. The festival is run by the Downtown Danville Partnership.
“This is the kickoff to the fall season,” said Laura Parker, chairman of the Scarecrow Festival Committee. “These scarecrows are the main attraction for the fall. People from everywhere come to see the scarecrows throughout the month. This is a non-stop attraction.”
An average of 35 to 50 scarecrows are generally created by business, families, organizations, and individuals each year.
At 7 a.m. this Saturday, the town will begin setting up the scarecrows around the square. Entries will be accepted until 11 a.m. The scarecrow festival will then begin at noon and last until 3 p.m.
This free family event will feature a food court set up by local merchants, musical entertainment by Bobbie Lancaster, who will do a special gig for children, a pie-eating contest, a children’s costume contest, sack races, a juggler, and free pumpkins for children to decorate or race each other in little trucks.
The scarecrow contest winners will then be announced. The scarecrows will be evaluated by three judges that are selected from the community who review and score on originality, creativity, and workmanship. There will be two categories: Family/Individual and Business/ Organization.
The best scarecrow will win a $100 prize and bragging rights for the year. The second- and third-place winners will receive $50 and $25, respectively.
“It’s a good-natured competition,” Parker said. “Contestants strive to be a repeat winner, or do better than what they did last time.”
She said there is anywhere from 600 to 800 people that come to the festival each year, and the town sees about 1,000 visitors throughout the month.
The goal of the Scarecrow Contest was originally to promote community spirit and entice visitors to stop on the square as they pass through town on their way to the Covered Bridge Festival in Putnam County.
“We’re always looking to do fun things to attract people to Danville,” Parker said. “People love the creativity that everyone puts into these scarecrows.”
The scarecrows will be put up rain or shine, and the festival will continue unless there is severe weather.
“This is fast and furious fun,” Parker said. “We love this. Bring out your families and enjoy. This should not be missed.
The Downtown Danville Partnership was started in 2007 to focus on downtown revitalization.
The partnership works to make downtown enhancements a priority for the community, harnessing the strengths and talents of relevant organizations and individuals and promoting collaboration and enthusiasm among all sectors who work on and in downtown.
For more information on this and other downtown events, visit the website at www.VisitDowntownDanville.com.
Entry forms may be found online at www.VisitDowntownDanville.com or www.danvilleindiana.org and they are also available at the Danville Town Hall or by calling 745-3001.
Just the facts WHAT: Scarecrow Festival WHEN: Noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 5 WHERE: Downtown Danville