Scarecrows are popping up all over at this time of year, and the Crossville Arts Council challenges kids and adults alike to create the best, funniest, prettiest, zaniest, scariest, most original scarecrows you can make for a scarecrow building contest on Friday, Oct. 2, from 4-6 p.m. at the Crossville Depot, 169 N. Main in Crossville.

Scarecrows built by kids of any grade level will be eligible for prizes, and will decorate the grounds of the Depot for the Harvest Moon Festival the entire month of October.

Scarecrows built by adults will not be awarded prizes but will be offered for sale to businesses to decorate downtown for the Harvest Moon Festival the whole month of October. Funds from the sale of the adult scarecrows will be used to support the upcoming ghost storytelling festival, “Crossville Chillers,” on Oct. 17 at the Palace Theatre.

If weather is wet, we can work on the covered deck of the Depot, but finished scarecrows will be displayed around the grounds of the Depot and inside and outside of downtown businesses, so please don’t use anything that will melt or run or wilt in wet weather. This is why plastic bags make the best stuffing material.

Lively music to build your scarecrow by will be provided by the Southern Rascals and light refreshments will be provided by the Depot. For ideas, Google scarecrow festivals.

The Crossville Arts Council and the Depot will supply the straw bales for sitting and plastic bags for stuffing your creation, so rummage in the back of your closet for that ragged pair of jeans and that faded old flannel shirt. More good used stuff can be found at local used clothing outlets, including straw hats and old shoes. Then show up at the Depot on Oct. 2 ready to create. Or make yours at home and bring it on down to the Depot on Oct. 2. Since Halloween is coming, you might even consider a monster scarecrow, or a princess, or a knight. Let your imagination go and see what you can come up with.

The Scarecrow Contest is free to all contestants. Contestants will be judged depending on age. The Youth Category is those age 5 through 12 and the Teen Category is those 13 through 19. Minimal adult assistance, please. Prizes will be awarded for Most Original, Best Traditional, Most Whimsical, and Scariest in each age group. Be sure to bring a sign with the name of your scarecrow, your name, your age and your phone number. Adults who wish to participate should bring a sign with the name of the scarecrow and your name and phone number. Please note that all scarecrows will become the property of the Crossville Depot and will be used in their outdoor displays, so don’t use anything on them that you will need to have returned.

Things you may need to bring with you: clothes for your scarecrow such as jeans or overalls, an old shirt, an old hat, gloves, scarf, old pantyhose for tying, shoes or boots if you wish, rope for a belt if you need it, an old pillow case or sheet for the head, masking tape or duct tape for fastening, glue, paint for face or buttons for a sewn-on face, wig if you want one, and that collection of plastic bags in your garage for stuffing. If you want your scarecrow to stand, bring two strong sticks, one as tall as yourself and the other one half as tall.

For more information, please call Judy Pearson at 484-8234. The Scarecrow Contest is a project of the Crossville Arts Council, the Crossville Depot and the Master Gardeners Association.

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