Downtown St. Charles
9 a.m.-9 p.m. Oct 11-12; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 13
Free admission; some activities cost extra
With their patched-up clothing, floppy hats and scratchy limbs,
scarecrows are practically the mascots of the autumn season.
Despite their name, they're rarely able to frighten anyone (dumb
birds excluded), and since all it takes to make one is some old
clothes and a bale of hay, they're one of the most family-friendly
decorations there is.
So it makes sense that scarecrows are at the center of St.
Charles' most renowned festival, taking place in the heart of the
city, right on the Fox River. Scarecrows pop up everywhere you
look, from the 150 on display (don't forget to vote for your
favorites!) to the make-your-own versions that families can take
Family-friendly activities throughout the festival include a
petting zoo, pony rides, fall photo booth, live entertainment, plus
carnival rides and inflatables.
The main event is the Scarecrow Display Contest, which judges
scarecrows in six different categories. But what's truly on display
is creativity, with past winners including The Munsters, characters
from the Madagascar films and scarecrow superheroes.
There is a family category, so if you and your kids (ages 12 and
under) have a brain for creativity, it might be time to sign up and
test those teamwork skills. For scarecrow newbies, there are tips
on the fest's website. Entry may be free, but the experience …
well, that's priceless.
Elizabeth Diffin is the senior editor at Chicago Parent. She lives in Wheaton.
See more of Elizabeth's stories here.
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