Scarecrows take over Cushman Park
Bernardston caps off annual event with fireworks
Recorder/Geoff BluhEmily Herron-Clark with her daughters Merissa,9, and Leonna, 4, in Halloween costumes, admire the first prize scarecrow made by the Cub Scouts for Saturdays annual Scarecrows in the Park in Bernardston. Purchase photo reprints »
The second place scarecrow at the Scarecrows in the Park was made by Karen Stinchfield, and is called Sweet Annie Gourdia, a princess made of Sweet Annie and a gourd.
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Alexandra Hyrne,4 ,of Bernardston paints a pumpkin during the Saturdays Scarecrows in the Park activities in Bernardstoon.
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BERNARDSTON — Whenever you attend a small town event, you expect to see lots of characters, but on Saturday in Bernardston, that took on a whole new meaning.
These characters didn’t say anything as passersby made comments, but their quiet presence entertained young, old and everyone in between.
They whiled away the hours on Saturday, propped up by sticks and cornstalks.
There was a farmer, a pirate, a Boy Scout leader, a princess, a headless horseman, a cowboy, a spider, a horse, a football player, one that held a sign encouraging people to vote, and many more.
Their creators used everything from pumpkins and squash to hay bales and cornstalks to flowers and colorful fall leaves.
They were 30 scarecrows that stood in Cushman Park and more than 200 people, mostly families, who passed through to see them during the Bernardston Kiwanis-sponsored Scarecrow in the Park event, which included a 10K road race, parade of old tractors, hayride, activities and a Halloween party for the children, and fireworks in the evening.
Two scarecrow Cub Scouts who had tied their Cub master to a cornstalk took the top prize, a princess of plants and flowers took second, and a straw horse wearing boots took third.
Debbie Delabruere won $75, Karen Stinchfield won $50 and Marissa Herron Clark won $25.
Bernardston’s kindergarteners took the top prize in the school category for their “Sheep in a Jeep” scarecrow display. The kindergarten classroom will receive $100 for its efforts.
Brandon Grover, a member of the local Kiwanis club and one of the head organizers of the event, said it was the eighth year the club had sponsored the event.
Grover, who was dressed as Waldo of “Where’s Waldo” fame, said several years ago the Kiwanis decided they wanted to do something each year in the town’s park, which they felt was not being used enough.
He said Scarecrow in the Park was the brainchild of Kiwanis members Mark Fitzpatrick and Mike Doherty.
“This takes a lot of work to organize,” said Grover. “We literally start planning in January and all of our 28 members or so help. This will end and we’ll be thinking about next year.”
Grover said the club never knows what type of scarecrows are going to be entered until they’re due at the park.
“Kiwanis members do our own private contest at the club, so we don’t have any here,” he said. “The judges are not Kiwanis members, either.”
“The caliber of these scarecrows is amazing,” he said. “People put a lot of time and effort into it.”
The scarecrows will stay in Cushman Park until after Halloween and then go home with their creators.