With the hot days of summer finally drawing to a close, it’s time to enjoy the crisp clear days of autumn. To embrace the new season, head to the annual St. Charles Scarecrow Festival. For four days the downtown area transforms into a scarecrow wonderland, with more than 130 scarecrows lining Lincoln Park.
But don’t expect to see simple straw-stuffed scarecrows. With categories like mechanical—with moving parts—and whimsical, which last year included Elvis: King of the Crows, these creations will amuse even the youngest of children.
"They’re pretty creative and they keep getting better every year," says Melissa Oehlerking, festival coordinator. And while some of the scarecrows are made by local artists or businesses, plenty of entries are created by local children or families. Entering a scarecrow is free and creating your own work of art can be a fun family activity.
The scarecrow fest includes kids’ activities scattered through the five city blocks of St. Charles’ downtown. If you didn’t have a chance to make your scarecrow before the fest, there will be two free "make-your-own" areas where all materials are supplied to create a scarecrow to adorn your home.
One of the biggest challenges in the past has been finding parking, but Oehlerking says the recent opening of a free, 300-car parking garage in downtown St. Charles should alleviate some of the congestion.
The fest features an arts and crafts fair, entertainment and food. Fest hours are 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Oct. 10-11 and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 12. The carnival remains open until 10 p.m. Oct. 10-11.
For more information, check the Web site at www.scarecrowfest.com or call (630) 377-6161.