Witches and ghosts, step aside. It’s time for the scarecrows to have a moment in the spotlight.
The Tarentum Recreation Board kicked off its 14th annual scarecrow contest on Monday, with entries competing for a top prize of $100.
“They’re so creative every year,” said Recreation Council Chair Carrie Fox. “We appreciate everyone’s efforts.”
Fox said she caught the idea of a town near Hershey, and now people are looking forward to it.
“It’s always exciting to see what people create,” she says.
Anyone traveling through Taranto can expect to see an array of plump characters appear from October 15-29.
The straw-stuffed creations will be tied to utility poles that line the borough’s business district along Corbet Street and Sixth Avenue.
Entries should be whimsical, playful or quirky, but not scary, Fox said.
Scarecrows must be no more than 7 feet tall and props must fit within a 3 foot by 4 foot area.
Over the past twelve years, the competition has attracted a variety of businesses, families and friends to show off their creativity. Last year, about 15 entries were recorded, with the top spot going to “Bad Hair Day” by Hailey’s Hair Creations and Spa along Fifth Avenue.
The figure had an armful of hair dryers, combs and curling irons, and spiky straw ponytails stuck up on her head.
This year, owner Traci Zinn plans to work her magic on a straw wizard gnome.
“I love gnomes,” Zinn said. “I usually make them out of socks, so we’re going to choose a giant one.”
Zinn said her win last year was especially sweet since her shop had just opened four months earlier.
“It was nice to feel like part of the community,” she said.
People aren’t shy about being crafty, Fox said.
“This contest lets creatives shine and brings fun to everyone,” she said. “These scarecrows bring a lot of smiles.”
While some look like traditional sticks dressed in jumpsuits, many are made to look like princesses, movie characters and celebrities. Last year, Spiderman and his 6ft web stood on the corner of Third Avenue and Rue Corbet. A whimsical doll in a purple satin dress and straw braids stood a few doors down.
Scarecrows should be durable enough to withstand any type of weather.
Fox recommended using a 2-by-4 piece of lumber for the body. Hay bales, corn stalks and other accessories are welcome.
The second place winner will win $75 and the third place winner will receive $50.
Scarecrows must be removed by November 5.
To enter, email Fox at [email protected]