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Falling into spring
Town to re-create scarecrow festival for video shoot
by Robert Hirtle
posted on 5/1/13
Lara Carrigan works on the creation of a new pirate for this year’s Great Scarecrow Festival and Antique Fair during a workshop held at the Mahone Bay Centre April 6.
If you drive down Main Street in Mahone Bay in mid-May you might, at first glance, think you’ve entered some kind of time warp.
But don’t panic. There is a very good reason why the hub of this picturesque South Shore town will be looking more as it does in autumn than the way it should be in the spring of the year.
“There’s a company out of Vancouver that’s coming to kind of re-create, if you will, the scarecrow festival,” explains festival spokeswoman Lara Carrigan. “Insight Productions is the name of the company and they’re just coming to film it and they’re hopefully going to air their footage sometime in August before our actual festival.”
Approaching its 17th anniversary, the annual event, which is officially titled the Great Scarecrow Festival and Antique Fair, runs this year from October 4 to 6.
As part of the celebration the town is not only decorated in seasonal autumn garb, but also, and more importantly, with dozens upon dozens of colourful, cleverly crafted, larger-than-life scarecrows.
It is that image that the organizers of the event have been asked to create almost five months in advance.
To that end a group of enthusiastic volunteers gathered at the Mahone Bay Centre in early April to take part in a scarecrow-making workshop.
Not unlike an old-fashioned quilting bee, the gathering’s goal was to create 30 to 40 new scarecrows to be used in the video shoot and then later this year in the actual festival.
“We had a lot of community members and chamber of commerce members come out,” Ms Carrigan says. “We made a whole bunch of new pirates … new witches and we’re in the midst of making new tea ladies, fishermen and harem girls.”
She said that Vicki Lynn Bardon and Colleen White have also been busy sewing costumes that focus on a theme of the town being physically active.
“We’re going to do some curlers and some hockey players so those are going to be some new vignettes that are going to be finished in time to be put out in May,” she explains. “We’ve been working really hard on this to get some new ones made.”Weather permitting the transformation of the featured section of Main Street will begin on May 17, with the actual filming slated to take place Monday, May 20.
“We’re hoping to get some of the shop owners to put out their own personal scarecrows and kind of decorate the exterior of their shops for fall in the hopes that this group may end up filming the fronts of their store,” Ms Carrigan adds. “So come May 19, your store should look like it does come scarecrow festival.”