MINT HILL, NC – We’re over a week into September, and it’s time to get ready for the annual Town of Mint Hill Scarecrow Decorating Contest!
The third annual Scarecrow Decorating Contest will look much different than it has in past years. Instead of being set up in front of Town Hall as part of the Fall Harvest Festival, Scarecrows will be on display at businesses and residences all around town throughout the month of October.
The idea for this year’s contest was born from the desire to encourage community fun while still maintaining the physical distance necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19. “It’s been since Christmas since we did something in Mint Hill,” says the assistant to the Town Manager Sheryl Smith. “We knew we wouldn’t be able to have the Fall Festival, but we thought there must be something we can do where people can have fun but still social distance.”
“Last fall when I went to visit my daughter, we drove through Eureka, MS. Everywhere you looked, there were scarecrows,” continues Smith. “I thought, why not do something like that? People can go around and look at scarecrows while remaining socially distanced.” Town Hall will provide a Google Map of scarecrow locations as well as a list of addresses at which to find them. For entrants who don’t wish to share their address and viewers who don’t wish to leave home, there will also be a photo gallery of all scarecrows online.
The Scarecrow Contest has always been open to everyone, but entries in the past have mainly come from local businesses and groups. This year, Town Hall encourages everyone to create a scarecrow and display it outside their business or place of residence. Registration is only $10, and all registration fees will go to a charity chosen by sponsor Novant Health Mint Hill Medical Center, who is providing generous cash prizes to winners in place of financing the Fall Harvest Festival. Winners in both business and residential categories will receive $500 for first place, $250 for second place, and $125 for third place.
The voting system for choosing the winners will be different this year as well. Last year, Town Hall posted the photos on their Facebook page and tallied up likes to select the town’s favorite. This year, voting will take place online, but it will be blind – you won’t be able to see who’s winning before casting your vote. For Smith, this not only eliminates the job of tallying up Facebook likes but makes the final vote a bit fairer.
For those who choose to view the scarecrows in person, there will also be an optional scavenger hunt to complete. All businesses that participate in the Scarecrow contest will have the option of being “clue holders” for the scavenger hunt. People interested in participating will visit the businesses, collect the clues, and assemble them to figure out the final answer. Everyone who successfully completes the scavenger hunt will be entered in a raffle to win $125 courtesy of Novant Health.
All schools, businesses, youth groups, church groups, families, and individuals are encouraged to participate! Scarecrows can be funny or scary, realistic, or fantastical. Register by September 18 at https://www.minthillevents.org/. Scarecrow locations will be available on October 1; winners will be announced on October 30. Help decorate our town, and don’t forget to vote for the BEST SCARECROW in Mint Hill! Direct any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (704) 545-2335.