Nearly two dozen scarecrows have been haunting Marietta for the past month for the eighth annual “Scarecrows on the Square” contest.
Community groups, local businesses, and city school competed this year, and the winners were announced during the festival Saturday afternoon.
Grand prize went to Marietta Pedicabs, with The UPS Store 2280 winning the business category and Marietta Compassionate Friends taking home the top prize in the civic category.
Marietta’s Sawyer Road Elementary School, which has participated in the contest ever since it started, was awarded first place in the schools division.
A group of teachers took six hours to create the scuba-diving starfish plunging into a treasure chest of jewels and books.
The festival was also a chance for children and pet owners to display their creativity during the Halloween costume contest, which including many boys dressed as a pirates, race car drivers and even the Grim Reaper.
Bella McCollun, 10, of Woodstock, said she has helped design her costume each year for the competition since she was five years old.
In past competitions, McCollun said she has appeared as Medusa and a raven, but this year she was dressed from top hat to toe as the Mad Hatter.
“I thought it was kind of cool and different,” McCollun said.
Much of the wardrobe, including a brown, crushed velour jacket and orange scarf tied into a bowtie, was purchased at thrift stores. But the large green velvet hat with peacock feathers was made by McCollun.
“She loves to sew. She has her own sewing machine and everything,” said her mother, Jennifer McCollun.
The undead breathe life into the Square
One family that moved from Vermont to Marietta just three weeks ago joined in with their new community to celebrate the fun and festive season at the Square.
Shannon Vest brought her two children, 2-and-a-half-year-old Tristyn, and 7-month-old Danika, dressed as baby chicks hatching from eggs.
The girls were in plucky spirits in costumes made by their mother, with yellow feathers and striped orange socks.
To end the festival, residents slowly paraded around the Square that evening as ghouls and the undead as part of the third annual Zombie Walk.
On a 0.8 mile loop around downtown, participants lurched and limped as they tried to stay in character, which was helped by make-up and costumes.
The Zombie Walk helps to raise attention to those in need living in Marietta, by raising donations and collecting canned goods for MUST Ministries.