Goodbye summer, hello fall – it’s scarecrow time

Mission Viejo Scarecrow Festival at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center 2019. City of Mission Viejo, CA/Courtesy 

Autumn brings visions of fall sweaters, pumpkin pies, corn stalks and the beloved scarecrow. The fourth annual Mission Viejo Scarecrow Festival will display as many as 50 scarecrows at the Norman P. Murray Community and Senior Center during the month of October.

The viewing of the scarecrows will be held outdoors beginning Oct. 12 — masks and social distancing are highly recommended. Even the scarecrows will be adhering to “scarecrow social distancing,” said Andrew Fine, community services manager for Mission Viejo.

These life-like figures are created by local businesses and nonprofit organizations–- churches, scouts, schools and charities — all who want to design and make their own scarecrow for a chance to win a cash prize. The city will build the frames and bases made out of wood and cement, or organizations can make their own. Each scarecrow will be tagged with the name of the organization or company it represents.

The contest categories are Most Humorous – $300, Spookiest – $300, Best Traditional – $300 and People’s Choice – $500. Each entry can win only one category. The public will judge the scarecrows and vote online.

Groups in the past have worked together to create scarecrows that represent their organization or play off a current topic or theme. Last year, The Daughters of the American Revolution, Mission Viejo, a non-profit women’s service organization, won the contest for Best Traditional. Their scarecrow was a suffragette scarecrow named Lucy, in honor of the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote. 

Families are welcome to enter and can work with a non-profit organization or donate their winnings to a charity of choice.

Interested individuals can pick up frames at the Murray Center between 8:00 a.m. and noon on Oct. 3 by making an appointment. Finished scarecrows must be delivered to the Murray Center on Oct. 10 or Oct.11 between 8:00 a.m. and noon, by appointment only. Scarecrows will be on display for public voting from Oct. 12 to Oct. 30.

For more information and to participate click here.