Get your fix of spooky scarecrow stories this Halloween season

  • Scarecrows on display at Scarecrow in the Park Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. Recorder Staff/Andy Castillo

  • Scarecrows on display at Scarecrow in the Park Saturday in 2017. Recorder FILE Staff/Andy Castillo

Staff Writer
Published: 10/10/2019 9:16:14 AM
Modified: 10/10/2019 9:16:04 AM

As the air turns colder and the leaves change color, Franklin County’s rural landscape takes on a ghastly aura reminiscent of Washington Irving’s fictional “Sleepy Hollow.” When the sun sets, one could almost imagine the headless horseman charging across Cushman Park on a black stallion, tattered cloak flapping; lantern upheld; shrouded in mist and mystery.  

Contributing to this mythical spell is the town’s annual fall festival, Scarecrow in the Park, scheduled this year for Oct. 19 and 20. Each fall, local artists sew together scarecrows — both haunting and beautiful — that are displayed in Cushman Park during the festival.

In honor of that seasonal tradition, Cushman Library at 28 Church St. is hosting a series of scarecrow-themed story hours for children of all ages, and another preschool storytime for youngsters up to 5 years old. Each gathering will feature a scarecrow or bat-themed picture book and then a thematic craft that will become a part of the whole scarecrow display, according to a press statement about the events.

Upcoming in the all-ages story hour, librarians will read “The Little Scarecrow Boy” on Oct. 16 from 4 to 5 p.m. In preschool storytime on Oct. 18 from 11 a.m. to noon, children will have a chance to put the final touches on a scarecrow that will be displayed in Cushman Park for the festival. Families from all towns are welcome to join.

This year’s Scarecrow in the Park festival will feature two days of live music, a tractor parade, a Halloween dance party, artist demonstrations, food, children’s games, among other activities.

Until then, spooky Halloween and scarecrow-themed books can be checked out from Cushman Library. A few seasonally appropriate books to consider, which have been featured in past story hours, include “The Scarecrow’s Hat” and “Dingle-Dangle Scarecrow.” For more information on children’s programs and other events at the Bernardston library, find the library on Facebook page, stop by during open hours, call 413-648-5402, or visit cushmanlibrary.org.

Andy Castillo is features editor at the Greenfield Recorder. He can be reached at acastillo@recorder..com.




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