It’s almost time for scarecrows — and the Edmonds Museum Scarecrow Festival

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The Driftwood Players entry from 2013,  the Wizard of Oz.
The Driftwood Players entry from 2013, the Wizard of Oz.

That scary time of year is getting closer — Halloween, the time for ghosts and goblins, and in Edmonds, scarecrows!  What are scarecrows exactly? They can be defined as “a mannequin stuffed with straw; standing, sitting, or free-hanging, often with reflective parts that are movable by the wind. These reflective parts are commonly attached to increase their effectiveness in scaring the crows, which were their original intent.”

Scarecrows have been around for a long time and have been the subject and inspiration of songs, almost as long. In 1939 the scarecrow in “The Wizard of Oz” sang “If I Only Had a Brain”:

I could while away the hours, conferrin’ with the flowers
Consultin’ with the rain.
And my head I’d be scratchin’ while
my thoughts were busy hatchin’
If I only had a brain

Another song, “The Scarecrow,” was written by Syd Barrett, a member of Pink Floyd, in the 1960s album, “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.”  “The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh” was the theme song for Walt Disney’s thrilling three-part adventure a weekly TV show and aired in 1964. John Cougar Mellencamp‘s album Scarecrow, which peaked at No. 2 in the fall of 1985, spawned five Top 40 singles including “Rain on the Scarecrow” —  and the list goes on. Who knew they were such fascinating and moody characters!

The Edmonds Museum is getting ready for the “Invasion of the Scarecrows” on the streets of our town; some are scary, some are friendly, and it has been said, some are even cute. Family-friendly and handmade are the guidelines for your entry. There were 54 scarecrows last year, and rumor has it that more are coming to town this year.

Let’s get ready: Registration is Oct. 1-15 and public voting is between Oct. 16-Nov. 1 at www.historicedmonds.org.

It seems scarecrows are famous, as many songs have been written about them. Could it be possible that their fame is bound to grow, because of the Edmonds Museum’s Scarecrow Festival? Here is an idea; would anyone be interested in composing a happy Scarecrow song for Edmonds? That would be so much fun!

The winners in the Scarecrow Festival will be announced Nov. 3 at the Edmonds Museum reception. The winner will receive a certificate, museum membership for 2015, bragging rights and free publicity.

There are six registration categories, this year, with a winner in each group:
1. Business in Bowl

2. Business Outside Bowl

3. Artist/Art Group

4. Residential

5. Group Government/Civic Group

6. School/Youth Group

You may be thinking, why in the world would I participate? The answer is simple, it’s fun.  The festival is an opportunity for schools, artists, merchants and residents to all participate in a city-wide event that is organized just for the fun of it. Wow, what a nice concept! Need some help to build a scarecrow? Call the Scarecrow Hotline at 425-774-6507.

Information and highlights to be aware of:

  • The Fence at Artworks, at 2nd and Dayton, an Edmonds Art Commission project will be handled by Artists Connect, whose member, Mona Fairbanks, along with several other artists will do an installation.
  • The Scarecrow Festival will be part of Art Walk on Oct. 16.
  • Residential registrants will each receive a 2015 family membership to the Edmonds Museum, just for entering.
  • The Scarecrow Festival will include a map of scarecrows (if registrants provide an address) so folks can look for, or tour, the scarecrow extravaganza. A fun time with the kids, no matter what their age.

Last year’s winners, when there were only three categories, were:

– Windermere Realty, business in the bowl
– Edmonds Veterinary Hospital, outside the bowl
– The Margo Family, residential

Get your brain and your creative juices rolling, and come up with your version of the quintessential scarecrow. Your abilities far surpass those of the “Wizard of Oz” Scarecrow, who said:

I’d unravel every riddle for any individ’le,
In trouble or in pain.
With the thoughts you’ll be thinkin’
you could be another Lincoln
If you only had a brain.

You do! Now is the time to get to work, and have fun.

Let’s have something to crow about.

— By Bette G. Bell

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