MINT HILL, NC – It may not feel much like fall yet in the Charlotte area, but it’s certainly beginning to look more like Fall in Mint Hill as Scarecrows start to pop up all over town!
The Annual Scarecrow Decorating Contest started four years ago as part of Mint Hill’s Fall Festival, an annual event that took place in October in front of Town Hall. The Scarecrow Contest was a small part of the larger event. Although it was always open to everyone, it drew participation mainly from a small handful of local businesses and groups, and all the scarecrows were displayed outside Town Hall.
Unable to hold a Fall Festival last year due to COVID-restrictions and itching to find a way to bring the town together after over half a year of social distancing, Assistant to the Town Hall Manager Sheryl Smith was struck with inspiration while visiting her daughter in Eureka, MS. “Everywhere you looked, there were scarecrows,” said Smith. “I thought, why not do something like that? People can go around and look at scarecrows while remaining socially distanced.”
Town Hall encouraged everyone to create a scarecrow last year and display it outside their business or place of residence. Last year’s contest drew 68 official participants in two different categories, business and residential. The contest was such a success that Town Hall continued to receive calls about entering well after the deadline had passed, resulting in another dozen or so “unofficial” Scarecrows around town.
With both Tina Ross Afternoon in the Park and Mint Hill Madness in October this year, the Town decided to forego a 2021 Fall Festival. The Scarecrow Decorating Contest, however, was such a success that doing it again this year was a no-brainer.
Many things will remain the same as last year. Scarecrows will be on display for the month of October. Once all the entries have been compiled, the Town will release a list of scarecrows and their locations on social media and on minthillevents.org. Voting will occur online from October 13-20.
There are also a few changes. Unlike last year, the contest will not feature a scavenger hunt and accompanying raffle. “We did not get the participation we expected last year, and with everything going on in October we decided to skip it,” says Smith. “That being said, the Easter Egg Hunt will be bigger this year!”
Novant Health Mint Hill Medical Center is once again providing generous cash prizes to winners in both business and residential categories: $500 for first place, $250 for second place and $125 for third place. The winning scarecrows will be announced on the last day of Mint Hill Madness.
The Annual Scarecrow Decorating Contest is just one of many exciting Mint Hill events happening this October. Make sure to check out Tina Ross Afternoon in the Park on October 2 (and check out the scarecrows displayed in front of Town Hall while you’re there!) and, of course, Mint Hill Madness at Veterans Park from October 21 – 23. Make sure to follow @townofminthill and @minthillevents on Facebook and check in with minthillevents.org to stay on top of all the great things happening in Mint Hill.
“We are waiting for the first sighting!” said Smith as the Scarecrows started to go up. “If you see a scarecrow, share on our social media!”