Scarecrow event needs community involvement

Published 12:01 am Friday, September 5, 2014

0811 scarecrows

Shown is an example of a previous year’s scarecrow. | Courtesy photo

By Brittany DeLong:

Preparations are under way to kick off this year’s Scarecrows in the Park in Opp, and organizers are asking the community to get involved.

Trailmasters President Kenneth Short said he is looking forward to a successful event this year and encourages Covington County residents and businesses to get involved.

“It’s really a community thing,” Short said. “If it was good last year, we want it to be great this year.”

The event is held annually on the trails of Frank Jackson State Park and organized by the Trail Masters.

This year’s Scarecrows in the Park display will open at 10 a.m. Fri., Oct. 3, at the park’s pavilion.

Signs will start being placed at the entrances to the park and the city of Opp within the next two weeks in preparation for the big event.

Each year, the event draws thousands to the City of Opportunity.

For those interested in trying their hand at making a scarecrow, a workshop at the Opp Chamber of Commerce is scheduled for Sept. 16, at 6 p.m. with members of the Trailmasters demonstrating how to design scarecrows.

“You’ll have several Trailmaster members there showing you how to make the frame out of different materials and how to stuff it,” Short said. “There’s no right or wrong way to build a scarecrow.”

Short encourages Covington County residents, as well as businesses from the area, to make their own scarecrows for the event.

“We have a lot of people from Andalusia participating with displays in the park,” Short said. “We always have a good turnout from Andalusia.”

The first year there were a little more than 100 scarecrows, he said. Last year the event boasted more than 500.

“Let’s even do better than that,” he said. “And we can if the businesses and citizens get involved.”

During the Opp City Council meeting Tuesday, Short said plans are under way to recognize the top scarecrows on exhibit, and the Trailmasters are reaching out to the community for cash donations to make this possible.

“This will be something new that we haven’t done in the past,” he said.

Short said several people have pledged support, but he has not yet collected money.

“If it materializes, what we would like to do to is have an independent group judge them (scarecrows),” he said. “Not the trail masters.”

Opp Councilman Arlin Davis challenged fellow council members to offer a personal donation of $25 to the contest.

The council also encourages the community businesses to participate and place scarecrows outside their shops.