Creating something scary to benefit McPolin Farm
The Park City Scarecrow Festival, which will be held at McPolin Farm this Saturday, is celebrating its 11th anniversary.
Jinny Vallor, who was on the Friends of the Farm Committee, conceived the annual fundraiser for the farm said Denise Carey, who manages the farm for City Hall.
"She brought it to the city because she had been to a scarecrow festival back east and she thought it was really cool," Carey said during an interview with The Park Record. "She told us about it and we decided to do our own."
The original idea was to have families make their own scarecrows that would be displayed along the trail behind The Farm.
"At first it was kind of mellow," Carey said. "People made the scarecrows and didn’t do anything else."
These days, in addition to building the scarecrows, the festival features pumpkin and face painting.
"We also offer cookies and apple cider and an array of games," Carey said. "We have tug-of-war and the Corn Game.
"We also give the kids a list of things to look for around the farm," she said. "It’s not really a scavenger hunt, but the kids need to go and look at some of the displays and come back to tell us what and where it is."
Although this Saturday’s event, which will be held from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m., is sold out, the public is invited to walk the trail to see the different stuffed and imaginative creations.
"How intricate the scarecrows are depends on the people who are making them," Carey said. "People put a lot into them. We’ve had scarecrows that were golfers, skiers, presidents, the Three Little Pigs, monsters and the band Kiss.
"Let me tell you, Kiss was amazing," she said. "One of the boys who built the Kiss scarecrow wanted his face painted like Kiss and my daughter, who takes time off of work as a nurse at Primary Children’s’ Hospital to head up the face painting at the festival, did his face. It was absolutely wonderful."
The only issue the festival has had to address is when people try to use their scarecrows for advertising.
"We have had to make a rule that the scarecrows are not ads or billboards," Carey said. "They are supposed to be things people have built to look at and enjoy."
Although the public can view the scarecrows for free, those who will participate in making them must $30 per ticket for materials.
"All the money raised, thank to the city, will go back into McPolin Farm to keep it on the National Historical Register," Carey said. "The money, along with a grant from the Summit County Restaurant Tax, also helps pay for the antique farm equipment display."
The McPolin Farm is a popular landmark in Park City and has gotten more popular since the citizens of Park City purchased it in 1990 to protect the l60-acre farm and the 7,468 square foot barn.
"I get a lot of phone calls from people who want their wedding of family pictures taken out there," Carey said. "So, we have to keep it maintained."
This year, there will be 42 scarecrows on display on the trail until Oct. 26.
"The part I enjoy about the Scarecrow Festival isn’t necessarily the day of the event, even though that is fun," Carey said. "I like the hundreds of people who go see the scarecrows afterwards.
"Usually the Sunday after the event, you can drive by the farm and see 50 to 75 people on the trail at one time looking at the scarecrows," she said. "People like going out there."
Once the festival is over, Carey calls the families who participated so they can retrieve their scarecrows.
"A lot of them like to put them up in their yard for Halloween," she said.
The Park City Scarecrow Festival will be held Saturday, Sept. 22, at McPolin Farm. For more information, visit http://www.mcpolinfarm.org.
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