Scarecrow festivals a New England tradition
Published 12:00 am, Tuesday, October 3, 2017
In fall, many would agree there are few places more fun and attractive than New England with its often colorful foliage displays and harvest events.
Families in particular have scores of outdoor options in Connecticut throughout October that will engage various generations, from daytime and evening hayrides through area farms and opportunities to pick-your-own perfect pumpkin and explore corn mazes. A helpful website to find information on many of these is newenglandfallevents.com, which has listings for each of the six New England states.
Another New England autumn tradition revolves around scarecrows, most often in humanoid forms, which have been used since ancient times in an attempt to scare birds away from crops. And the uglier the better, it was thought. Nowadays folks like to dress their straw creations with boundless imagination in costumes that run the gamut from fairy-tale princesses to comic-book monsters.
If designing a scarecrow sounds like a fun family endeavor, the following suggestions may be of interest.
Bush-Holley House, 39 Strickland Road, Greenwich, Sunday, Oct. 8, 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., greenwichhistory.org
The Greenwich Historical Society’s Fall Festival will feature a Meet & Greet Walkaround with Grover from Sesame Street, Touch-a-Truck construction equipment, a puppet show, games, crafts, a food truck and the popular scarecrow competition. Visitors are invited to tour the “Jim and Jane Henson: Creative Work, Creative Play” exhibition, which pays tribute to the Sesame Street/Muppets founder, and take a family-friendly tour of the historic Bush-Holley House.
“The theme of this year’s scarecrow competition will be ‘friendly monsters’ in honor of Sesame Street characters Grover and Oscar the Grouch, who appear in the current exhibition,” according to the historical society folks. “Basic scarecrow building materials — straw, burlap bag and armature/‘bones’ — are included in the fee, but participants are welcome to bring accessories to customize their creations,” they said.
Prizes will be awarded at 3 p.m. in various categories; all scarecrows must be completed by 2:30. A separate fee for the scarecrow competition is $15. Admission is $10, children 3-17, $5, children under 3, free, and family, $25.
Stamford Museum & Nature Center, 39 Scofieldtown Road, Oct. 8, three sessions
Three scarecrow-making sessions are slated for Sunday, Oct. 8, from 1 to 2 p.m., 2:15 to 3:15 p.m. and 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. $5 per family, plus gate admission. Families can create a life-size scarecrow that will be entered in the scarecrow contest and exhibited at the center’s Harvest Festival Oct. 14-15. One scarecrow per family. For guidelines, visit stamfordmuseum.org
Harvest Festival Weekend at Stamford Museum & Nature Center, Oct. 14-15, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
In addition to the scarecrow competition, the festival will feature an apple cider-making demonstration, a hay bale climb, take-a-llama trek, antique farm tool demonstrations, animal meet and greets, live music with Jay and Ray, face painting, storytelling and children’s crafts. The Fifth Connecticut Regiment Colonial Militia re-enactors will be at the museum’s Heckscher Farm for an encampment and demonstrations of colonial crafts. An array of locally popular food trucks will be on the meadow. Admission is $10, free for 3 and younger.
Madison’s “Scarecrows Invade” contest
The Madison Chamber of Commerce’s eighth annual “Scarecrows Invade” competition in downtown Madison runs through October. Families, individuals, schools, community groups and businesses are invited to participate. Guidelines for the contest are available online; winners will be announced on Halloween, Oct. 31, at the town’s “ Trunk or Treat ” event on the Town Green. Completed scarecrows must be submitted downtown on Saturday, Oct. 7, from 10 a.m. to noon; online public judging is Oct. 13 through Oct. 28. 203-245-7394, madisonct.com/?ai1ec_event=scarecrows-invade-madison-3
Plasko Farm, 670 Daniels Farm Road, Trumbull
The 18th annual Scarecrow Festival takes place Sunday, Oct. 8, and Columbus Day, Monday, Oct. 9, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Featured will be a “Make Your Own Scarecrow” tent ($20, includes all materials), games, community booths, crafts and food. Admission is free. Plasko Farm’s fall offerings include a corn maze ($10) every weekend from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Oct. 31 and tractor hay rides ($1). 203-268-2716, plaskofarm.com
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