Edmonds, it’s scarecrow time

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Vincent van Go-Crow, flanked here by creators Mona Smiley-Fairbanks (R) and Robin Westbrook (L), is the first entry in this year's Edmonds Scarecrow Festival to hit the streets. Go-Crow is now displayed on "the fence," an outdoor display area adjacent to the ArtWorks at Second in Dayton in downtown Edmonds.
Vincent van Go-Crow, flanked here by creators Mona Smiley-Fairbanks (R) and Robin Westbrook (L), is the first entry in this year’s Edmonds Scarecrow Festival to hit the streets.

The first entrants in this year’s annual Edmonds Scarecrow Festival are beginning to show up on streetcorners, in front of homes and stores, and just about anywhere you can put a stake in the ground.

It’s all part of the opening of this year’s Edmonds Scarecrow Festival, a community event sponsored by the Edmonds Historical Museum in which entrants build scarecrows and the whole community joins in the fun by voting the best in several categories. Last year’s festival was a terrific success with more than 50 scarecrows registered and more than 500 votes cast.

Registration for the 2014 festival runs Oct. 1-15, and public voting gets underway on Oct. 16. But that hasn’t stopped some early birds from getting their entry into the public view.

One early entry is already up on Edmonds Art Commission’s Fence venue near the Art Works at Second and Dayton. Edmonds artists Mona Smiley-Fairbanks and Robin Westbrook’s “Starry Night” features Vincent van Go-Crow (aka, Vincent van Gogh) stepping out of his famous work “Starry Night.” The stars even light up after dark.

Vincent Go-Crow is now displayed on "the fence," an outdoor display area adjacent to the ArtWorks at Second in Dayton in downtown Edmonds.
Vincent Go-Crow is now displayed on “the fence,” an outdoor display area adjacent to the ArtWorks at Second in Dayton in downtown Edmonds.

“We tried to be accurate in our depiction of van Gogh,” said Smiley-Fairbanks. “He always wore a blue drillcoat, simple black pants and shoes, and frequently a straw hat. The coat we used actually belonged to Robin’s father-in-law, a relic from his days flying and maintaining aircraft for the Royal Canadian Air Force. The rest came from thrift stores. But I think our scarecrow is a little taller than the real van Gogh.”

A little scarier too.

Fairbanks and Westbrook are professional artists, but don’t worry. There’s plenty of room for non-artist entries too. Scarecrows can be registered in six categories: Business in the bowl; business outside the bowl; government/civic group; artist/art group; residential; and school/youth group. Smiley and Westbrook’s entry will be in the Artist/Art Group category, so there’s plenty of opportunity for entries from everyone. The only guidelines are that scarecrows must be handmade and family-friendly.

“Our goals are to promote the Museum, get the community involved in an enjoyable creative activity that celebrates the season, and create opportunities for interaction between schools, artists, merchants and residents,” said Dave Buelow, Museum board member and scarecrow festival coordinator. “But most of all it’s about having fun!”

“Last year was the first time we tried this,” said Buelow, “and the response was incredible. We had 54 scarecrows officially entered, and this year we’re looking for lots more.”

Even if you don’t build a scarecrow, everyone is encouraged to join in the fun by casting votes online at the Museum’s website to determine the best scarecrow in each category. Voting will begin Oct. 16.

The website also includes an FAQ and simple “how to build a scarecrow” instructions. For more information, Buelow invites the public to email the Museum or call the Scarecrow Hotline at 425-774 6507.

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