Fridays can be scary.
Well, maybe just this Friday.
Well, okay, maybe only if you are a crow.
Maybe I should explain.
For more than 3000 years, scarecrows of various forms have been used to keep birds from eating farmers’ crops. Originally just nets on poles, the Egyptians would scare wheat-eating quail into the nets, then take the birds home as their meal. Later, the Greeks (soon followed by the Romans) used carved wood modeled after the ugly Priapus, son of the god Dionysus and the goddess Aphrodite, hoping the unattractive mythological being would scare the birds away. It was the Japanese rice farmers who first made them human-like.
To celebrate the history of the scarecrow as well as the fall harvest season, the Orange Beach Arts Center—with help from The Friends of the Arts, Inc., the City of Orange Beach, and more than 40 local businesses—is hosting a Scarecrow Festival on Friday, October 7, 2011, between 4 and 7 p.m. You may not see these life-size creations on many farms today, but these hay-stuffed creatures on the OBAC lawn are sure to bring smiles to all who view them.
Attendees at this free festival will enjoy the company of 100 scarecrows and their proud creators. Fun prizes will be awarded, but it’s more about the family or team project than winning a contest. And the festival is for and about residents and guests in the community, not just the scarecrow builders.
Besides watching as raw materials become masterpieces with personalities, you and your family are encouraged to participate in pumpkin painting (yes, take yours home!), a sing-along, Angry Birds crafts and catapult, hot dog and marshmallow roasting, and a caramel apple bar. (Some activities require a small fee.)
Whether as a participant or a viewer, join your neighbors at the Orange Beach Arts Center, 26389 Canal Road, for a grand evening of old-fashioned fun.
If you’d like to make a scarecrow, you’ll need to call 251-981-2787 to reserve the frame, hay, paint and pillow cases; you provide the clothing. (At the time of this writing, only 5 are still available, so call now.) Scarecrows may be taken home after the festival or you may leave them on display at OBAC through Halloween.
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