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Scarecrows take over Cushman Park

  • Scarecrow Boy Scouts set off on an expedition in Cushman Park during Saturday's Scarecrow in the Park festivities in Bernardston. Recorder/Trish Crapo

    Scarecrow Boy Scouts set off on an expedition in Cushman Park during Saturday's Scarecrow in the Park festivities in Bernardston. Recorder/Trish Crapo

  •  Pamela Adorno's scarecrow, "Dottie Coming in from the Garden," won "Prettiest Scarecrow" at Saturday's Scarecrow in the Park festivities held in Cushman Park in Bernardston. Recorder/Trish Crapo

    Pamela Adorno's scarecrow, "Dottie Coming in from the Garden," won "Prettiest Scarecrow" at Saturday's Scarecrow in the Park festivities held in Cushman Park in Bernardston. Recorder/Trish Crapo

  • Bernardston's Scarecrow in the Park festivities on Saturday included a good old-fashioned tractor parade. Recorder/Trish Crapo

    Bernardston's Scarecrow in the Park festivities on Saturday included a good old-fashioned tractor parade. Recorder/Trish Crapo

  • Scarecrow Boy Scouts set off on an expedition in Cushman Park during Saturday's Scarecrow in the Park festivities in Bernardston. Recorder/Trish Crapo
  •  Pamela Adorno's scarecrow, "Dottie Coming in from the Garden," won "Prettiest Scarecrow" at Saturday's Scarecrow in the Park festivities held in Cushman Park in Bernardston. Recorder/Trish Crapo
  • Bernardston's Scarecrow in the Park festivities on Saturday included a good old-fashioned tractor parade. Recorder/Trish Crapo

BERNARDSTON — Dozens of scarecrows were unable to keep a flock from congregating at Cushman Park over the weekend.

The straw-and-stick sentinels still did the job they were made for, though, bringing hundreds of people to the annual Scarecrow in the Park event.

“It’s such a great time,” said Mary-Lou Barton of Leyden, who brought her daughter, Samantha Chabot, of Turners Falls, and little granddaughter Kaelynn Chabot.

“It really brings the community together.”

The event was a benefit for the Bernardston Kiwanis. The club throws the party every year, and sold burgers, dogs and fries, and people broke bread on picnic tables in the park, and over in the beer garden while drinking Bernardston-born Lefty’s beer.

People also congregated around a few scattered fire-pits, warming their hands on the blustery, cold day. Others opted to cross the street and head to heated restaurants, bringing some business to the Four Leaf Clover and Antonios II.

This year’s event was bigger than ever. Organizers expanded the festival from one to two days, and added a craft fair with nearly 40 vendors.

“They’ve got everything you could ask for here. There are so many arts and crafts,” said Barton, who squeezed in some holiday shopping.

The craft fair added a little bit of Christmas to the Halloween-themed event.

Mary Lisa Murphy of Greenfield sold handmade wreaths, decorative floral items and upcycled crafts, including Christmas bouquets in repurposed ice skates.

“I’ve been doing this for about 30 years; it keeps me out of trouble,” said Murphy. “It used to be more of a hobby, but I’m doing it more now that I have free time.”

She can often be found picking through others’ unwanted goods, looking for things to use in her crafts.

“I love tag sales; old things have so much character,” she said. “I’m always bringing different things home to use.”

There were lots of other great handmade gifts from area artisans, from handbags to cribbage boards and fine art to jams and jellies. There were even live chain-saw sculpting and blacksmithing demos by John Lake and John Passiglia, and Charles Shaw made custom wood-burned signs while people waited.

There was also live music, a Halloween kids’ dance party and an antique tractor parade to add to Saturday’s festivities.

With so much going on at Cushman Park, it was no surprise to see packed parking lots and parked cars all down South and Church streets.

Though the scarecrows couldn’t keep a crowd away, in their defense, this reporter did not see a single crow, raven or blackbird while attending the festival.

David Rainville can be reached at:
drainville@recorder.com
or 413-772-0261, ext. 279

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