Scarecrows have crept onto the grounds of the Robert Mills House in downtown Columbia, and they’re inviting more scarecrows to their party.
Historic Columbia is holding a scarecrow-building workshop from 1-3 p.m. Sunday for anyone who would like to ascarecrow. The workshop will offer instruction, ideas from scarecrows of years past, and a scarecrow kit that includes PCV pipe, hay and string. Participants should bring clothes and other items from home to personalize their scarecrow.
After the workshop, scarecrow creators are welcome to take their scarecrow home to decorate their own yard, or add it to the collection in the Robert Mills House garden. Historic Columbia is sponsoring a scarecrow contest throughout the month of October. Historic Columbia has sponsored the contest since 2008, and every year local families, businesses, organizations and classrooms create dozens of ghoulish, historic and colorful scarecrows.
"My favorite scarecrows are the ones that get really creative with materials used to construct the bodies,” said James Quint, Historic Columbia’s director of education. “Often we see scarecrows related to recently released movies or other headlines that have been in the news – nothing political or sad, but fun news headlines. Gamecock gear often makes an appearance as well.”
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As visitors enjoy the free exibit of whimsical scarecrows, they should keep an eye out for Sneaky Steve, who might be hiding around any corner, camouflaged by a tree or shrub, or peeking from a high perch.
“Sneaky Steve is our elusive scarecrow that hides on the grounds,” Quint said. “Our staff comes up with a fun story line each year that builds off of the previous year. If children spot him hiding on the grounds,then they can write down his location and turn the entry ticket into the Gift Shop to be entered for a prize at the end of the month.”
Also at the Gift Shop, visitors can cast ballots for the “People’s Choice” scarecrow and “Best Class‘Crow.” Awards will also be given to a winner and a runner-up in the business, family and classroom categories. Contest winners compete for a chance to win cash, trophies and tour passes.
Entry in the scarecrow contest is $20 per scarecrow for businesses and organizations, $10 per scarecrow for families and individuals, and $10 for a classroom scarecrow. Entry forms are available at historiccolumbia.org and must be submitted by Sept. 28.
Sunday’s workshop costs $15 per scarecrow you or your group would like to make. This does not include the cost of contest entry.
The Robert Mills House is located at 1616 Blanding St. in downtown Columbia.
Bridget Winston, Special to The State