Imagination's the limit as scarecrow creators prepare for fall competition

Winner could take up to $2,000 at this year's Auburn Community Festival
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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A unique artistic contest with a chance to win up to $2,000 in cash will be waiting at the Auburn Community Festival Oct. 18. This year’s scarecrow decorating contest provides local artists with chances to express their wildest imaginations. According to Barbara Jicha, who is in charge of the contest, making scarecrows means different things for different people. “I think that it’s an artistic outlet for some people who really take it seriously,” Jicha said. “For other people, it’s a fun thing they can do as a group. It gives people an outlet for expressing humor, or art or something they believe in.” Another draw for many artists is the fact that it is possible to win a total of $2,000 at the contest. First place for the “open” category is $1,000, awarded by a panel of judges. An additional $1,000 “People’s Choice Award” is decided by the votes of community members in attendance. Cash prizes are also handed out to second through fifth places in the “open” and “14-and-under” categories. The “youth group” category will also receive prizes for first and second place. Scarecrows are encouraged to have positive themes, as they will be viewed by children of all ages. Meadow Vista resident Kurt Barton, who has won several prizes in the “open” category the past five years, said the contest is a laid back way for him to be artistic without many restrictions. “It’s fun,” Barton said. “For me to be creative without having any rules at all, it’s just kind of anything goes!” Meadow Vista resident Trish Schreiber, who has been entering exhibits in the festival for the past six years, said it’s the process and reactions from people that inspire her to create a scarecrow exhibit each year. “I really enjoy the process of making the scarecrow and trying to come up with an idea,” Schreiber said. “I definitely get a lot of enjoyment seeing people that like my display. If they enjoy it, that makes me happy.” Auburn children’s groups are also getting involved in the competition. Skyridge Discovery Club has been working on its scarecrow exhibit weekday afternoons. The exhibit has a King Kong theme, and each aspect of the creation is being developed by a different child. Auburn Recreation District Youth Services Coordinator Penny Gray-Hurst said building the exhibit helps children gain important knowledge while supporting the community. “I think it’s in support of (Auburn Recreation District) as a whole,” Gray-Hurst said. “Also by doing it, it gives the kids a lot of skills. It gives skills in math, construction and working together as a team.” For exhibit specifications and applications, visit the festival’s Web site. A $5 entry fee and application should be mailed by Oct. 15. Entries will be taken that morning, but must be assembled at Auburn Recreation Park by 9 a.m. The Journal’s Bridget Jones can be reached at or comment at -------- Scarecrow Decorating Contest When: Scarecrows must be assembled by 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, at the Auburn Community Festival Where: Recreation park, 123 Recreation Drive, in Auburn Cost: $5 entry fee Call: Barbara Jicha, (530) 887-0609 Web: