By Stephen Vance, Staff
The hazy, lazy days of summer will soon shift into a beehive of activity in Meaford, with the increasingly popular Meaford International Film Festival (MIFF) providing four days of films, food, and fun, while the 160th edition of the Meaford & St. Vincent Fall Fair offers up a glimpse at Meaford’s agricultural heritage on the same Labour Day weekend, followed by a re-decorating of Meaford’s commercial district when the MIFF banners are removed from the light posts, and replaced with scarecrows.
Just a few short weeks after the scarecrows appear, the 19th annual Scarecrow Invasion & Family Festival, along with the Apple Harvest Craft Show will team up to welcome autumn with fun, crafts, and Meaford’s rare traffic jams.
Those scarecrows, some 250 of them, will not only be hanging from light posts. An army of volunteers will be placing the community-built scarecrows throughout the urban area of the municipality – in parks, on bridges, hanging from signs.
All those scarecrows are assembled throughout the summer by volunteers. The last of this year’s scarecrows were completed last week at the Rotary Harbour Pavilion, and on the same day, the organizers of the Scarecrow Invasion took some time to recognize their many sponsors and media partners, who along with more than 250 volunteers, help make the annual festival possible.
Complete with the requisite kazoos distributed amongst the crowd, Head Scarecrow Marilyn Morris expressed thanks to the growing number of sponsors of the event.
“Our sponsors fall into three categories. Some of our sponsors donate funds to the Scarecrow Invasion, others give in-kind (contributions), and the others are our media partners,” Morris told the gathering. “All are critical to the success of the Scarecrow Invasion.”
In recent years, organizers of the event have developed an annual theme for the Scarecrow Invasion, which has helped increase the participation of business owners who create displays in shop windows leading up to the event. The very first theme for the Scarecrow Invasion was The Wizard of Oz, which resulted in a wide range of creative displays which paid homage to the classic movie.
The theme for the 19thedition of the festival, which will be held on Friday, October 2, is “Scarecrows Celebrate the Year of Sport”.