True to form, hundreds of scarecrows invaded Meaford’s downtown on September 5, the first Tuesday of September, as they always do. By the end of week, their delightfully whimsical faces will have transformed the downtown area, the entrances to town, and Station Hill into the finest display of Canadian pride as Scarecrows Proudly Celebrate Canada’s 150th.
More than 390 volunteers gave some 1,170 hours of their time to create a line-up of scarecrows dressed in red and white for visitors to walk among, take photographs, and marvel at.
The scarecrow invasion that takes place this time each year has won the hearts of visitors and earned provincial and national recognition for the municipality. This award winning event has been named among Festival Events Ontario top 100 events and festivals in the province for four years in a row. Its volunteers were honoured with the June Callwood Volunteerism Award in 2011.
390 volunteers and 1,170 hours - that’s not counting the hours that have gone into planning and organizing the event, according to Head Scarecrow Marilyn Morris who quarterbacks a team of volunteers who live and breath scarecrows all year round.
“We are so proud of our Canadian cuties that are now hanging from lampposts and loitering around town in their red and white finery,” she said. “We are excited about the parade and family festival coming up on Friday, September 29, that kicks off The Big Fall Weekend, which includes the Apple Harvest Craft Show on Saturday and Sunday at the community centre and curling club.
“Each year, the scarecrows are created with a theme in mind. This year our theme is in keeping with Canada’s 150th birthday. Take a walk around town and you will see scarecrows depicting great Canadian personalities, institutions and inventions. You may find that a stroll among the scarecrows is a bit of a refresher on Canadian history. Did you know that peanut butter is a Canadian invention? Indeed it is. Do you know when it was invented? Don’t be surprised if you find yourself reaching for your history text or doing a bit of background research online. It’s all part of the fun of being Canadian.”
The parade on September 29 starts on Sykes Street at 6 p.m. and the family festival follows at 6:30 p.m. at the Rotary Harbour Pavilion.
“It’s great family fun for everyone and it’s free,” Morris said. “There will be activities, candy apples and cotton candy for the children, entertainment, and displays. The winners of the Views of Meaford Photo Contest, business competition, and apple pie competition will be announced. The winning pies will be auctioned off and slices of apple pie will be sold for $2.”
For more information, visit www.scarecrowinvasion.ca.