This is the eighth year the city has played host to its “Scarecrows on the Square” contest in collaboration with the October Harvest Square Arts and Crafts Festival and Halloween Happenings that is scheduled for Oct. 19.
Maggie Moss, a parks supervisor for the city, said the idea to involve the community in building scarecrows for the downtown in October came after a group of Cobb senior citizens visited the Atlanta Botanical Gardens during its “Scarecrows in the Garden” event.
“We thought it’d be fun to see if we could do that, so we had two or three (scarecrows built) the first year and now it’s grown to 20,” she said.
Citizens, schools, businesses and organizations were invited to register through Sept. 25 for the annual competition.
The scarecrows will be judged in four categories — community, school groups, businesses and churches — on Oct. 11. Winners will be announced Oct. 19 at 1:45 p.m. during the downtown Halloween festival, which will also feature costume contests, kids’ activities, candy, games and music, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. that day.
Residents at Sunrise Senior Living of East Cobb, which is located off Johnson Ferry Road, entered their scarecrow in the contest for the first time this year.
Tara Vroman, an activities assistant with Sunrise, said she remembered the contest from visiting the Square in the past, so she sent out a flier to residents asking for donations and participation in making them.
Last Friday, a handful of residents built their scarecrow in about an hour.
“The ladies did an amazing job,” Vroman said.
The scarecrow is a senior citizen toting a drink in one hand and a bingo card in the other with a sign reading, “Retirement at its finest.”
“We wanted to represent everything about the senior living community and that you can still have fun even as you age,” Vroman said. “We really wanted to glorify all of our residents since they are so creative.”
Christa McLain, the director of sales at Sunrise, said Vroman’s introduction of this project is a way of nurturing residents’ young-at-heart spirits.
“We are encouraging them to have good, honest fun and get into the spirit of Halloween and get back to some of those fun-loving things they remember doing with their own children,” McLain said.
Marietta’s Sawyer Road Elementary School has participated in the contest ever since it started.
Jill Baker, the school’s International Baccalaureate coordinator, said she and a group of teachers helped create their scuba-diving starfish that is diving into a treasure chest of jewels and books.
“We are huge on reading here at Sawyer Road and we love our mascot (Sawyer the Starfish) and he does all kinds of things, so we had him ‘Dive into reading,’” Baker said.
It took them about six hours to create the scarecrow a few days after school last week.
For more information about the scarecrow competition or Oct. 19 event, contact Moss at email@example.com or call the recreation department at (770) 794-5601.