Calling all scarecrows
BERNARDSTON — Scary, silly, or just plain strange, all kinds of scarecrows are welcome at Cushman Park.
Now a two-day event, Scarecrow in the Park will take over the downtown common Oct. 26 and 27, with music, games, arts and crafts and, of course, lots of scarecrows.
That leaves a little more than two weeks to stuff a scarecrow and enter the annual contest.
Scarecrows can compete in one or more of five categories: scariest, funniest, school spirit, prettiest and the “Bear Country” class. Each of the first four categories have a $100 top prize, with Bear Country Radio offering an unspecified amount for its category’s top prize.
With a world of possibilities and a loose definition of “scarecrow,” competitors are only limited by their imaginations — they only need to incorporate corn husks into their designs.
This year’s festival will start at 9 a.m. each day with coffee, tea and pastries in the Senior Center.
Saturday starts with the Kiwanis annual 10k road race, beginning at Pratt Field at 9 a.m.
The tractor parade will start at noon Saturday and will feature the Pioneer Valley Regional School Marching Band.
New this year is a craft fair. More than 30 artists and artisans have signed up already, offering everything from handmade jewelry and woodwork to natural makeup and homemade maple products.
The craft fair will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day. Vendors will also make scarecrows and compete against each other to win their booth fees back.
There will be a kid’s Halloween dance party at 2 p.m. Saturday, with music from D.J. Bobby C from WHAI. After the sun goes down, it’s time for a couple Halloween classics. “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” will be shown outdoors at 6 p.m., followed by “Hocus Pocus” at 6:30. Movies will be shown in the Senior Center in the event of rain.
Live bands will perform all day Sunday, starting at 10 a.m., including Pat and Tex LaMountain, June and the Bee and the Maple Ridge Bluegrass Band.
The Bernardston Kiwanis, which sponsors the event, will serve burgers, hot dogs, pulled pork, corn chowder, chili and french fries Saturday and Sunday. Antonio’s Pizza II, Hillside Pizza and the Four Leaf Clover will also feed the crowd.
There will also be blacksmithing and chain saw art demonstrations, a gold panning booth, Shriners clowns and dinosaurs from the Rock and Fossil Dinosaur Shop all weekend.
Proceeds from the festival will benefit the Bernardston Kiwanis’ scholarship fund.
It costs $5 to enter your scarecrow in each category and multiple categories are allowed. All scarecrows must be put up in the park by the end of the night Oct. 24, and must remain through Halloween.
Entry forms can be found at 7 South Bakery and the Cushman Library. You may also request one from a member of the Bernardston Kiwanis, or by email at email@example.com.
At press time, there were a few vendors’ spots left, at $30 all weekend for a 10-foot-square spot, or $60 for a 10-by-20 setup. Inquire at the email address above.