Every year right around the time that the leaves begin to cover the streets and walking paths, the scarecrows begin to appear. These are not the scarecrows of the crow-scaring variety; these are quite another breed—big, beautiful, creative and, this year, literary.
The 12th annual Island Wide Scarecrow contest kicks off this week and the grand prize this year is big: a brand new iPad. 's Development Director, Paul Karasik heads up this annual fundraiser and is thrilled with how the contest has grown. "Anybody from the community can build a scarecrow and every builder is entered into the drawing for a brand new iPad," said Karasik.
Scarecrow building starts this Sunday, October 16 with a Scarecrow Building Workshop. Anyone interested should plan to be at MVPCS from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. "Come with ideas and some supplies," said Karasik, who notes that the school will provide some, but not all scarecrow building materials. Ideas should include literary themes for your scarecrow. "That means anything from Babar to Harry Potter to Ichabod Crane."
At one point, winners were chosen by a group of judges. Now, the winner is chosen by drawing a name from a hat. "Once we got rid of the competition, I felt so much better about it being a contest. We'd have kindergarteners walking by a scarecrow made by a professional artist and feel like there was no way to compete with that. Now everyone has an equal chance of winning. Plus, it suits the Charter School to be more inclusive," said Karasik.
Starting next week, scarecrow builders will be assigned a participating business location at which to put up and maintain their scarecrows. Islanders can expect to see these amazing creations dotting the Island by next Saturday, October 22. In addition to the grand prize iPad, a host of other locally donated prizes will be given out to participants.
The Scarecrow Building Workshop takes place this Sunday, October 16 at Martha's Vineyard Public Charter School starting at 11 a.m.