WEST LIBERTY, Iowa–Though this year’s growing season will draw to an end soon, scarecrows will start popping up in northwestern Muscatine County to scare up fall fun rather than agricultural pests. The West Liberty Chamber of Commerce will bring back its annual scarecrow contest to help lift the spirits of area residents and promote some social distanced sightseeing in West Liberty and surrounding towns.
Many years before Stephanie Martin became director of the West Liberty Chamber of Commerce, the organization hosted a scarecrow contest each year. Looking for a fun way for both families and businesses to enjoy the beautiful fall weather safely, Martin decided the time had come to bring the contest back. “It’s been a heck of a year, and anything that we can do to promote mental health, happiness, and family time we want to do,” Martin said.
To get involved, individuals, families, or area businesses in Atalissa, Nichols, or West Liberty may create and put up a scarecrow on their property that passersby can see from the street. They then must register with the West Liberty Chamber of Commerce by calling 319-627-4876, emailing [email protected], or Facebook messaging @westlibertychamber by Oct. 15. Entries will then compete for best business, best dressed, most creative, and people’s choice awards. Each award winner will receive $50 in Chamber Bucks, which they can use at participating local businesses.
With many fall activities scaled back or canceled this year, Martin hopes the scarecrow contest gives people a way to have fun with their families, generate community spirit, and maybe earn some fun prizes in the process. She anticipates it will get people out of the house and supporting area businesses safely as well. “We also hope it will help our local businesses, that while people are out and about looking at the scarecrows, they will be grabbing a bite to eat, stopping to shop, or getting gas, she added.”
As you start clearing your yard for fall, consider putting up a fun scarecrow this year to join in the West Liberty Chamber of Commerce’s festivities. It will not only brighten up your space but bring joy to those throughout the community.